COVID-19 Information

  • We will share all of our communications to families as well as information we receive from federal, state, and local officials on this page. If you have questions about COVID-19, we encourage you to use the links provided or speak with your healthcare provider or local health department.

Recent Communications

  • For the most up-to-date information regarding the 2020-2021 school year and CSD's response to COVID-19, please visit www.csdecatur.net/opening2020

     

     

     



    Updated May 5, 2020

    Dear CSD Community,


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    We are building plans and contingencies for the rest of this school year and into the next. 


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    Over the last few weeks, we have been developing plans for recognizing our seniors, issuing refunds for fees, developing contingencies for the next school year, and more. Although some of these plans are not yet finalized, we think it is important to inform you that we are working on them. Stay tuned for additional communication from schools and the district office as information and plans are finalized.


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    CSD Connection

    City Schools of Decatur continues to support #OurKids, #OurStaff, and #OurCommunity during this difficult time. We are providing several new ways for our CSD community to reach out and ask questions or request support. As always, if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.


    If you have a specific question about a school-based activity or need, we recommend you first contact the school or visit their website.


    If you or your student are in need of social-emotional support or have questions about wellness related to the COVID-19 closure, you may complete this confidential
    form or call the CSD Connection Line, 404-371-5305. The CSD Connection form and phone line are monitored by Equity and Student Support staff members throughout the school day Monday-Friday during the closure. Calls received after 3 pm may be returned the next business day. 

     

    Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week

    Every year during the first week of May, we celebrate our amazing educators. Our teachers have amazed and humbled us by their dedication to our students and families during these challenging circumstances. We appreciate the way CSD teachers have navigated the virtual education landscape and prioritized student success and wellbeing. 


    In honor of Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, please consider submitting a photo, video, or story recognizing a teacher or staff member. We are looking for submissions from staff, students, parents, or community members. We will use these photos, videos, and stories on social media, webpages, newsletters, or eblasts to recognize our outstanding teachers and staff who have done so much during this school year.
    Click here to submit your photo, video, or story!


    Picking up student belongings 

    Over the next few weeks, schools will communicate a plan to safely pick up any student belongings that need to be collected. Please watch for details from your school. 

     

    Refunds

    By the end of this week, schools will send out information regarding how to request a refund for payments for field trips, school lunches, etc., canceled or otherwise impacted by the closure.

     

    Seniors

    Decatur High School will send a letter to seniors and their families this week with details regarding graduation, picking up graduation materials, and the virtual graduation ceremony that will be held on May 29. Additionally, they are seeking input through a survey on what date works best for the in-person graduation ceremony. Information about these events will be communicated by DHS and shared on the DHS and CSD websites.

     

    Chromebooks and hotspots

    If your family has a need for a Chromebook and/or hotspot, you can still place a request here. If you have CSD equipment and need troubleshooting help, please first check these tips – and if that doesn’t help, please ask your child’s teacher to alert the technology team for support.

     

    Returning technology

    We have not solidified the timeline for returning borrowed equipment. When our reopening plans become clearer, we will communicate via district newsletter, school newsletters, and emails to specific families with information on returning borrowed equipment. Students participating in DHS credit recovery summer school or Extended School Year (see the next item) will be able to keep any equipment they have borrowed during those summer learning programs.

     

    Summer school and Extended School Year

    As previously communicated, we are not planning any summer school services on site. However, for credit recovery purposes at DHS, designated students will be provided online opportunities similar to what has been offered in the past in a virtual environment. DHS has long used an online platform for summer school content with in-person teacher support; we will transition to one-to-one online support instead.

     

    Extended School Year (ESY) services are extended special education services for students who require it as determined by their IEP team. ESY is not “summer school;” however, it often occurs during the summer. Due to uncertainty about when we will be able to resume in-person instruction, Special Education staff will provide ESY services virtually similar to the way special education and related services are being provided virtually now. The student dates for ESY are June 8-26. Parents of students slated to receive ESY services this summer will receive a letter from the Special Education Department with more information in the coming 1-2 weeks. 

     

    Rising K, 3rd-, 6th-, & 9th-grade information

    Since school visits will not occur this month, schools will send out information during the summer to help prepare students who are moving to a new school. In addition, a special time will be reserved for these students to tour their new school during 2020-2021 Meet and Greet. 

     

    Assessment results and final grades

    We are working on making final grades for K-5 available on the Infinite Campus Parent Portal after the last day of school. Similarly, we are working on making results from the winter End of Course test and the STAMP world language assessment available in Infinite Campus. Final grades for 6th-12th grade students will be reported in ManageBac.

     

    Starting next school year

    Our priority is to ensure our students and staff are safe, and our preference is that we open the next school year with normal, in-person instruction. However, that may not be possible, and we are creating contingency plans for such scenarios. Depending on restrictions in place at the start of the new school year, those scenarios might include running a staggered schedule for students to physically attend while they continue with online learning at the times they are not physically present, or operating fully online (with improvements we have identified during this unexpected online learning experience). Examples of staggered schedules may mean splitting the day between morning and afternoon or coming to school on alternating days. 

     

    If such a schedule were to become necessary, some factors we are taking into consideration include maximizing available work time for parents by ensuring all of their children are on the same staggered schedule, determining how to handle the needs of teachers who are also parents of school-aged children and the lack of alignment between their schedule and a staggered schedule (including those whose children attend other school districts), identifying ways to accommodate students and teachers who are part of a vulnerable population, creating ways to support a hybrid environment where not all students are doing the same thing at the same time, addressing social distancing on buses, and many other factors. It is also possible we will return next year under more normal circumstances but with enhanced health protections in place, such as mandatory wearing of masks. Many of these options will need to be adjusted for different ages of students, and we are considering those implications as well. 

     

    Over the next three months, we will continue monitoring conditions, consulting with appropriate experts, and communicating what we are learning and planning on a regular basis. The environment can change very quickly, and we will do our best to keep you informed and provide advanced notice of plans. We will all need to continue being nimble, flexible, and patient as we continue learning how to accept the uncontrollable in a world we prefer to control.

     

    Budget

    State Funding
    The Governor has asked state departments to prepare for a 14% reduction to the FY21 state budget. At this time, we do not have the specifics on how this reduction will affect the state funding school districts receive. We are looking at our FY21 budget to determine the potential impact to our district.


    State Grant
    On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law at the federal level. On May 4, the State Board of Education approved the State Superintendent’s recommendation to accept and allocate the K-12 CARES Act funding. CARES Act funds will help school districts offset expenditures related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSD State & Federal Programs department is diligently working to review the newly released information in order to learn more about the funds including the appropriate use of funds. CSD has been allotted $321,028, though private schools in the area are entitled to a portion of this amount. Having a “proportionate share component” means that CSD must offer to provide equitable services under the CARES Act programs to students and teachers in all non-public schools located in CSD’s attendance zone, even if a non-public school has not previously participated in equitable services under Title I, Part A or Title VIII of the ESEA.  To meet this requirement, CSD’s State and Federal Programs department will invite the appropriate stakeholders for a consultation meeting to determine the equitable services. 

     

     

     

    Updated April 15, 2020, 12:30 pm


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    The last day of the 2019-2020 school year is May 22 – for seniors, May 15.


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    The Board of Education voted at their April 14 meeting to end the school year for seniors on May 15 and for all other students on May 22. Guidance continues to evolve and it is unclear at this time if we will be able to operate our 0-3 programs at College Heights and Frasier Center during the summer months. The Decatur High School community is evaluating options on how and when to commemorate our seniors’ graduation. Grading guidelines have been finalized please read below for additional details. 


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    Change to school year

    At all grade levels, the month of May typically includes several days for large-scale assessments, such as GMAS and MAP, as well as numerous special events. With the elimination of such assessments and events this year, those days are no longer needed. Therefore, the administrative team proposed and the Board yesterday voted to approve the following changes to the academic calendar:

    • The last day for seniors would move 5 days earlier, from May 22 to May 15.
    • The last day for all other students would move 4 days earlier, from May 29 to May 22.

     

    Although students’ school year will end sooner, staff will continue to work their full work calendar. For teachers, this means they will have about a week of additional time to close out their classrooms for the current year, prepare materials for their next teaching assignment, and participate in essential professional learning that was deferred by the current disruption. Additionally, staff will spend the time to reflect on what did and did not work well with remote learning: this will help us better serve students in the event of a future long-term closure.

     

    The Department of Curriculum and Instruction will lead efforts to create a webpage for independent enrichment activities. We will add self-directed summer activities and reading lists to the enrichment resources page. As soon as next week, you can look to this page for enrichment activities, and additional summer enrichment activities will be posted as they are developed. Self-directed enrichment activities will not impact grades or placement for the upcoming school year.

     

    And in the meantime…

    Meal service

    Due to diminished demand, we will change meal distributions to be 3 times per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with extra meals being sent home Mondays and Wednesdays to cover the days we aren't serving. We tentatively plan to transition to this plan on April 20. We plan to continue meal service until the (revised) end of the school year, May 22. The Nutrition staff is investigating the viability of setting up a second distribution site; we will share information about whether we are able to provide this service in a future community message.

     

    Teaching and learning

    We will continue to provide instruction based on a 4-day rotation with the 5th day, Fridays, designated for check-ins and support. While school is in session, students are expected to complete assignments. Student learning for the remainder of the year is important and will impact their preparedness for their class and grade-level next school year. Students who are unable to complete work for reasons related to access and/or personal or family illness should communicate with their school. CSD will:

     

    • Continue providing weekly plans by Monday morning. 
    • Focus on essential content and the social and emotional well-being of students.
    • Offer a minimum of one face-to-face session per week. This may be whole-group, small-group, or one-to-one. Students cannot be required to be online at a certain time, therefore sessions should be recorded so that students can access the session at a later time. Various grades and subjects cannot be held to the same expectation. However, all are encouraged to maximize face-to-face interaction.

     

    Grading

    Grading, credit, and promotion guidelines were developed in accordance with Georgia Department of Education guidelines including: 

    • Students should not be held back in their expected progression – graduation, advancement to the next grade, etc. – as a result of the COVID-19 school closures. The state has granted the necessary flexibility to make this possible. 
    • Students should not be penalized for circumstances over which they have no control. 
    • Every possible effort within health and safety guidelines should be made to ensure students demonstrate minimum proficiency to complete course requirements. 
      -K-5 grading guidelines
      -6-8 grading guidelines
      -9-12 grading guidelines


    Summer school and Extended School Year

    Due to uncertainty about when we will be able to resume in-person instruction, we are not planning any summer school services on site. However, for credit recovery purposes at DHS, designated students will be provided online opportunities similar to what has been offered in the past in a virtual environment. DHS has long used an online platform for summer school content with in-person teacher support; we will transition to one-to-one online support instead.

     

    Extended School Year (ESY) services are extended special education services for students who require it as determined by their IEP team. ESY is not “summer school;” however, it often occurs during the summer. Due to uncertainty about when we will be able to resume in-person instruction, Special Education staff will provide ESY services virtually similar to the way special education and related services are being provided virtually now. The student dates for ESY are June 8-26.

     

    New student conditional enrollment

    New student registration will be handled virtually until we can reopen. Registration staff is conducting tests on the systems this week and we hope to open registration on April 20. Parents/guardians will fill out the online registration form and upload all required registration documents to the system to be conditionally enrolled. Once we can reopen, all parents/guardians who registered virtually will be required to bring in residency documentation. Additional information will be posted at https://www.csdecatur.net/enrollment.

     

     



    Updated April 2, 2020, at 6:00 pm


    After the Governor’s announcement yesterday (April 1), several school districts began to release information regarding high-priority topics such as graduation, grading, and awarding course credit. Rest assured that our district leaders are working on these topics and following guidance as it is issued from the Georgia Department of Education.

    We are carefully considering all decisions and seeking input from School Leadership Teams, staff, and students where applicable. The Georgia Department of Education continues to support districts making tough decisions and we are consulting with state leaders and other school system leaders on how to best manage all of the waived state and federal rules. We plan to begin making announcements after we return from spring break.

    We realize this is a stressful time for everyone. The CDC has published resources for coping with stress during this uncertain time. You can find the resources here- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19. If possible, we encourage those who can to take time to rest and rejuvenate during spring break. 


    We thank you for your continued flexibility and patience.

     

    Updated April 1, 2020, at 8:00 pm


    Closure Update

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    In-person schooling will not resume for the 2019-2020 school year; remote learning continues.

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    The governor announced an executive order April 1 declaring that schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of this school year. Remote learning will continue through the closure.

    Principals, teachers, nutrition staff, custodians, support staff, and myriad others have humbled and inspired us with their hard work and innovation. This community could not ask for a better team to see us through these challenging times. If you’ve had a teacher, principal, or other CSD staff member make a positive impact on you or your family, please take a moment to let them know. Not sure whom to send that message to? Tell Courtney Burnett at cburnett@csdecatur.net.

    Now that we have completed a few days of the enhanced remote learning, we have a better understanding of what is working and what is not working; we are considering possible adjustments. District leaders are continuing to review the next steps regarding several other high-priority topics such as graduation, grading, and awarding course credit. 

    This is an unusual and disconcerting time for everyone. Our community’s mental health remains a top priority for CSD. Balancing work, family, and school is not easy for anyone; now, more than ever, we must continue to support each other.

    Finally, we would also like to express our gratitude to all CSD families for doing your best to carve out time and space to support your children’s learning. We thank you for your flexibility and patience. We are in this with you, and we will all get through this together. 

     

     

    Updated March 26, 2020, at 4:00 pm


    Dear CSD Community,


    We received two important updates today from the Governor and Georgia Department of Education.

    Closure Information
    This afternoon, the Governor issued an executive order to extend the school closure through Friday, April 24. It is possible we will receive local, state, or federal guidance later that may extend this date. Spring Break will be observed April 6-10 as planned. Although we plan to continue to serve meals during the extended closure, meals will not be served during spring break.

    Decisions regarding events such as prom, graduation, and other end-of-the-year celebrations will be made at a later date and in the best interest of families and students. However, any events scheduled before April 24 are canceled with the exception of virtual events.

    Waiver Information
    The State Board of Education approved a long list of statutory and regulatory requirements to be waived for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Of note, the Georgia Department of Education applied for, and has been conditionally granted by the US Department of Education, a waiver that would remove the requirement for mandatory state assessments for this school year. CSD is processing the information regarding these waivers and we will share more with the community once we receive guidance from the GaDOE. 

      

    Updated March 26, 2020, at 11:45 am


    Dear CSD Community,

    Sarah Garland, Director of Early Childhood, has informed the district that she has tested positive for COVID-19 and asked the district to share this information with the CSD community. Based on the timing of our school closure, the risk of transmission to others in the school is relatively low. As is our practice under privacy regulations, further information about her health conditions will not be shared by district personnel. 

    As an educational institution, it is not appropriate for the district to provide individual medical advice. If you have questions about the symptoms of COVID-19, your risk of exposure, or are experiencing symptoms, we encourage you to talk to your health care provider or health care agency. Other resources regarding COVID-19 are available through the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Public Health has developed guidance and a hotline to answer questions related to COVID-19. That number is (844) 442-2681.

    Our thoughts are with Sarah and her family and all other members of the community dealing with this virus. 

     

    Updated March 25, 2020, at 2:30 pm


    Instructional Expectations Going Forward


    Greetings CSD parents, students, and staff,

    As the eleventh day of school closure approaches, and as previously shared in our communication on March 13, 2020, additional guidance regarding distance learning for CSD students has been developed and is ready to share with all members of our community. Below you will find specific details and guidance for all students in grades K through 12. Teachers, parents, and students should look next for communication coming directly from your school with additional information on specific details for distance learning during the COVID-19 closure.  


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    We will all do the best we can.


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    The following district-wide expectations are for all K-12 students regardless of grade level. Look for information from your principal and classroom teachers for more specific details. We know navigating through all the specific scenarios at the district level is not feasible, so district leaders collaborated with principals to develop general expectations to ensure teaching and learning continues throughout the COVID-19 school closure. Principals have the flexibility to finetune what teaching and learning looks like at their school to best fit these parameters. The transition to new learning/content will begin Friday, March 27 for most schools and by no later than Monday, March 30, all teachers will provide new assignments every Monday, one week at a time. 


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    General Parameters for Teachers:

    1. Ask for help and be healthy. If a teacher’s circumstances make it a challenge to keep current, let your principal know so they can work with you.
    2. CSD will implement a weekly schedule in which students explore new content through digital learning activities Monday-Thursday. Friday will be a flexible day for interventions, enrichment, and support. Friday is also a day for students to complete work. Teachers may also set up time to work with individual students or small groups on Fridays.
    3. Teachers will post their lessons and materials for the week no later than 8:00 am each Monday.
    4. Each lesson should include some form of assessment so teachers can determine how students are progressing toward mastery of the standards and content. This can be an e-ticket out the “door,” a review of completed work, a short quiz, etc. 
    5. Teachers should collect data on how students are performing so that if grades for online learning are necessary at a later date, we have those ready.
    6. ALL teachers are expected to provide activities for the students on their current roster.
    7. ALL teachers are expected to be reasonably accessible to students or parents throughout typical school hours. 
    8. Lessons should range between 30-60 minutes depending on grade level. See information from your school principal regarding specific expectations for your school.
    9. Teachers are welcome to use a variety of online learning tools. The district is not mandating one specific tool or methodology. Principals may approve additional online resources. 
    10. Teachers who provide support services to students will continue to provide support to their students. 
    11. To the extent possible, teachers will provide a consistent, daily format with student-friendly directions for assignments. 
    12. Teachers should also streamline digital routines and limit the amount of new tools introduced to allow students to focus on learning the content. Be sensitive that video content, in particular, can strain some family internet connections.
    13. Teachers should also include opportunities for reflection and the celebration of effort and success.

     

    General Parameters for Students:

    1. Ask for help and be healthy. If a student’s or their family’s circumstances make it a challenge to keep current, let your teacher know so they can work with you.
    2. Complete assignments daily. 
    3. Submit assignments by the due date.
    4. Check for communications from your teacher daily. 
    5. Maintain academically honest behaviors.
    6. Comply with the guidelines established by the teacher for behavior in online learning platforms.

     

    Parents, here is what you can do:

    1. We know this is a stressful time for you, your family, and your child(ren). We greatly appreciate your support as we navigate this difficult period. If stress levels get high, take time to relax and provide brain breaks as necessary for your child.
    2. Know that the classroom teacher remains your first point of contact for questions about assignments and materials.
    3. All plans have been designed to provide families with a suggested daily structure but with the understanding that families need flexibility. 
    4. We have provided several hundred Chromebooks to students to support at-home learning. If your family needs a device, please notify your teacher – CSD will make every effort to provide you with a device. If you need assistance troubleshooting a problem with your CSD Chromebook or finding resources to get online, please visit https://www.csdecatur.net/technologyathome.
    5. Please know this continues to be a time when changes can occur in a matter of minutes. We ask for your continued support if new changes are announced at the local, state, or national level.

     

    For families whose children receive accommodations through a 504 plan:


    504 coordinators will partner with classroom teachers to continue to provide accommodations and related services to children with 504 plans to the greatest extent possible. In progress or new 504 referrals will be on hold until school reopens. Current 504 plans will be reviewed and revised if new needs arise due to the virtual learning environment.


    For families whose children receive special education support via an IEP:


    For students with IEPs, the parameters listed above apply. Additionally, special education teachers and service providers will collaborate to ensure that instruction provided to students with disabilities is coordinated, appropriate, and reasonable. Many disability-related accommodations, modifications, and services may be effectively provided online. These may include: 

    • Use of calculator
    • Enlarged font/text
    • Extensions of time for assignments
    • Reduced number of problems/assignments
    • Videos with accurate captioning or embedded interpreting
    • Accessible reading materials
    • Use of assistive technology
    • Therapy via video conferencing

     

    All CSD schools have been asked to consider practices such as access to online instruction, teletherapy and tele-intervention, and conducting IEP meetings on digital platforms. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the teacher/case manager via email for concerns regarding individual student supports. In the event students are not able to access instructional tasks through the varied learning modes to the greatest extent possible, IEP teams will be prepared to convene when normal school activities resume to discuss individual student needs and next steps. During the time of closure, Special Education related meetings will continue as much as possible virtually or via phone. Teams and parents may also agree to postpone meetings until a later time. Based on current guidance received, IEPs do not need to be amended for online learning if the whole district has shifted to online learning. The Special Education Department will continue to review federal and state guidance as updated to ensure that we continue to provide the required services consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Additional information will be provided to families and staff as it becomes available.

     



    Updated March 17, 2020, at 1:15 pm


    Dear CSD Community,

    We are aware of concerns regarding presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the community, and we are communicating regularly with the Georgia Department of Public Health and the DeKalb County Board of Health. These agencies have not notified City Schools of Decatur of any confirmed cases of COVID-19, and our understanding is that they will only release illness information no more specifically than the number of ill patients in a county. Community members should rely on public health agencies regarding communication and updates on cases of COVID-19 in the county. This is an ever-evolving situation and CSD will continue to monitor information and communicate with state and local agencies. 


    We encourage all members of our community to follow the guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC and stay home if you are ill and contact your doctor or health professional for more directions. It is also important that students remain home during the school closure to reduce the chance of coming in contact with individuals who are ill. We ask that all stakeholders — students, employees, parents, and community members — please follow the
    CDC’s COVID-19 guidance as emphasized by local, state, and national health care providers.


    School Information
    Parents should have received information from schools regarding supplemental materials to support learning at home. We ask that parents, guardians, and students are patient with our teachers and staff during this time. They are working hard to provide materials and information for families while also dealing with their own families, this new work from home reality, and health concerns. 


    Some schools have sent information about retrieving materials/medication from buildings. We ask that parents and students only come to the schools if it is absolutely necessary. Please follow the schedules sent out by the schools regarding times. We do not anticipate being able to offer another opportunity for students to enter the building after March 18. Only 10 people may enter the building at a time. This will be strictly enforced. While in the building, please ensure you and/or your child comply with the 6-foot social distancing practice.


    Closure Information
    Last night, the Governor announced that all schools in the state must close beginning March 18 and remain closed until March 31. However, City Schools of Decatur will likely remain closed through spring break with the possibility that we may be closed longer. 


    Meals for Students
    Meal distribution will begin on March 18. The Nutrition Department will provide all students the option to pick up two meals a day from Decatur High School.  These meals will be a cold breakfast and shelf-stable lunch. The program is open to all City Schools of Decatur students. We are unable to extend this meal service to siblings who are not CSD students, parents/guardians, or the general public. Meals will be available for pickup daily 9:00am-11:00am. Students may only pick up two meals (one breakfast and one lunch) per day and may not purchase additional meals. The CSD student must be present to pick up their meal.  To avoid lines and to adhere to social distancing best practices, we ask that you take advantage of the full window for pick up. Families will not be allowed to linger after meal pick up.


    All meal prices will remain the same as a typical school day and all approved free and reduced lunch applications will be honored. It is unclear whether this is something our students will take advantage of; we will evaluate this program throughout our closure to determine if participation is high enough to continue or require modifications.

     

     

     

    Updated March 13, 2020, at 3:30 pm

    All of this information is based on the CURRENT situation and is subject to change. We are erring on the side of communicating quickly rather than perfectly, so anticipate updates and/or corrections. We will issue regular updates via email, our website (https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19), and our other communication mechanisms as more information becomes available. 

    ~10 WORDS

    We have answers to some questions, not yet to others.

     

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    The close of school is indefinite at this point. We are planning to miss 10 school days, but it is possible the closure will extend further. It is unlikely we will make up the missed school days. Spring Break is still scheduled for April 6-10; if the school closure extends up to or beyond Spring Break, it will NOT impact our Spring Break schedule. Everything is canceled. Expect information from your principal(s) about remote learning resources, retrieving personal property, etc. 

     

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    Extracurriculars, school events, field trips

    Everything is canceled. We will do our best to reimburse families for funds paid for canceled activities, but we do not have a timeline for completing this work.

     

    New Student Registration

    Registration is suspended until further notice. We will reschedule registration appointments when the school district reopens. Please check https://www.csdecatur.net/enrollment for details.

     

    Learning

    Instructional staff are using the first three consecutive days of closure to finalize plans for remote learning. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, students will begin receiving reinforcement and/or enrichment activities/tasks. If the school closure extends to and beyond Friday, March 27, a different set of guidelines for remote learning will be shared with students and families.

     

    Special Education and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

    Special education teachers and other service providers will collaborate to identify the most appropriate ways to instructionally support students with IEPs. The appropriate teacher(s) will reach out to the families of students directly. Additionally, special education teachers/case managers will communicate with families about IEP and eligibility meetings already confirmed or scheduled to occur March 16-April 3. Some meetings may proceed with participants attending virtually. 

     

    Section 504 Plans

    504 coordinators will work with teachers to identify resources to provide accommodations for students with 504 plans if feasible. Eligibilities that are currently in progress will resume after school reopens.

     

    Food Services for Students

    The Nutrition Department will provide all students the option to pick up two meals a day from Decatur High School beginning Wednesday, March 18. This will allow our staff time to get the necessary food deliveries to begin this service. Our goal is to make sure all of our students continue to have access to food during the extended school closure. These meals will be a cold breakfast and shelf-stable lunch. The program is open to all City Schools of Decatur students. We are unable to extend this meal service to siblings who are not CSD students, parents/guardians, or the general public. Meals will be available for pickup daily 9:00am-11:00am. Students may only pick up two meals (one breakfast and one lunch) per day and may not purchase additional meals. The CSD student must be present to pick up their meal. All meal prices will remain the same as a typical school day and all approved free and reduced lunch applications will be honored. It is unclear whether this is something our students will take advantage of; we will evaluate this program throughout our closure to determine if participation is high enough to continue or require modifications. 

     

    Getting Things From School 

    (Medication, Locker Contents, Learning Materials, etc.)

    Individual schools will communicate with families timeframes for picking up material from their buildings. This will probably occur Monday and Wednesday, March 16 and 18.  Families will receive more details directly from the school.

     

    Home Internet Access

    We’re aware that some families do not have reliable internet access at home. We do not currently have hotspots to loan to students to support at-home connectivity. However, families have several options:

    • Comcast announced that their Internet Essentials service is free for new users for 60 days. We anticipate Access from AT&T soon will announce a similar extended free trial period. AT&T is also temporarily eliminating most data limits for their internet service customers.
    • Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and 21 other telecom providers have signed a “Keep Americans Connected” pledge not to terminate any home internet service for failure to pay bills within the next 60 days, and to make Wi-Fi hotspot service available to customers.
    • Many cell phone providers enable options for phones to serve as hotspots to provide data connections to other devices, and several service representatives have notified us that cell service providers will ease barriers and costs to enabling this feature. Availability varies by cell provider and phone, so contact your cell service provider for additional information.

     

    Additionally, we invite all parents to visit https://www.csdecatur.net/technologyathome for additional resources around norms and monitoring for student use of technology at home.

     

    Talking with Children About COVID-19

    We have provided resources for how to talk to your children about this situation on our site https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19. We will continue to add resources here as they become available.

     

    Assessment

    We are in touch with the College Board, International Baccalaureate (IB), and the Georgia Department of Education about testing and are awaiting guidance. IB has extended their deadlines. As of today, no changes are planned for the Georgia Milestones (GMAS) and College Board Spring testing windows in April and May. Students who were scheduled to take the GMAS Math End of Course (EOC) Test in March will be rescheduled to take EOC test at RMS and DHS when school resumes.

     

    If You or a Household Member Becomes Ill with COVID-19

    To help us be informed of the spread of COVID-19 in our community as quickly as possible, please promptly notify Lead Nurse Shonda Moore at smoore1@csdecatur.net if you learn that someone in your household tests presumptive positive for COVID-19. Please report who in your household has tested positive along with their relationship to our district (for example, a student, a staff member, a parent of a student, etc.).

     

    What Can the Community Do to Help?

    If you have financial or nutrition needs or know of a friend or neighbor who does, please contact the Decatur Education Foundation at https://decatureducationfoundation.org/lightentheload – they are a valuable ally in our support efforts.


    Day Numbers

    chart 

     

     

     

     

     

    Updated March 12, 2020, at 4:45 pm


    Dear CSD Community,


    Please review the following at your preferred level of detail.


    ~10 Words


    City Schools of Decatur will be closed indefinitely starting Friday, March 13, 2020. 


    ~100 Words

     

    In light of the Governor’s announcement and in consultation with other Metro Area school districts, City Schools of Decatur will close schools effective March 13 and will remain closed until further notice. Students are not to report to school, and all extracurricular activities are canceled. All employees should check their CSD email this evening for additional information.


    1,000+ Words


    In light of the Governor’s announcement and in consultation with other Metro Area school districts,
    City Schools of Decatur will close schools effective March 13 and will remain closed until further notice. Students are not to report to school, and all extracurricular activities are canceled. All employees should check their CSD email this evening for additional information, and essential personnel are expected to report to work. We hope to resume instruction as soon as possible, but the health situation remains fluid and this timeline is subject to change. We have not been informed of any member of the CSD community who has tested positive for COVID-19.


    For the first three days of this closure, we are asking teachers to work toward preparing enrichment and relearning materials for distribution online. Please look for emails and web site postings at individual schools for teacher- and school-specific information about how to access these materials. Renfroe and DHS students should also check their own CSD email accounts for information directly from teachers.


    While at home, we encourage families to take preventative steps to ward off the spread of COVID-19:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
    • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid other social situations, such as trips to the mall, restaurants, faith services, etc.
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands. 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Do your best to stay calm.
    • If you are feeling ill, please contact your physician for guidance.


    We understand that these are trying circumstances for students, families, and staff. We are trying at all times to make the healthiest, safest decisions for all of our stakeholders. 


     
     
     
     
     
    Updated March 12, 2020, at 9:50 am

    bit.ly/CSD-Mar-12

    We are going to err on the side of communicating quickly rather than perfectly, so anticipate updates and/or corrections on a regular basis. We will issue updates at least once a day via email and our website (
    https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19) and our other communication mechanisms as more information becomes available.


    Dear CSD Community,

    The following is an update on our status and plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to meet the varied needs of our stakeholders, we are going to try a new approach to communicating this update. Below you will find three different versions of our message. The first is a very brief, approximately 10-word summary. The second is a slightly more in-depth 100-word summary. The third is a verbose, detailed update that may be 1,000 words or more. We hope this approach will help you find the level of detail you require.


    Additionally, we have created a form to submit questions so we can ensure we are addressing the things you want to know. You are still welcome to email staff as needed, especially if you have questions about a situation very specific to you or your family, but all questions are welcome on this form. We will do our best to respond individually, where applicable, and to update our frequently asked questions page as appropriate.

    Submit your questions at
    http://bit.ly/CV19Q.

    ~10 Words

    We are not closing schools but we are limiting large gatherings.


    ~100 Words

    We continue to consult with leaders and scientists at local, state, and national health agencies. Based on the best information available to us, we are NOT closing schools at this time but we ARE curtailing large group events. We have plans for what we will do in case of school closures, and will be sharing more details about those plans in the coming days.


    1,000+ Words

    This information comes from innumerable conversations with leaders and scientists at local, state, and national health agencies; and comprehensive review of all available factual information. Each decision we make is based on analysis of all of this information, consultation with experts, and coordination with local and state agencies and peer school districts. We are fortunate that some medical professionals involved in developing a national response are also providing input on CSD’s handling of this situation. Our internal team of dedicated professionals have been working on this non-stop and will continue to do so until this pandemic subsides.


    Closing Schools


    At this time, we are
    NOT closing our schools. It is quite possible that we will need to close schools in the near future, but given the current state of this disease in our county and state, it would be premature to close schools. Closing schools at this juncture would have little health benefit to the community, if any, and would have a major negative impact on most families. We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with experts, and we will close schools if it becomes prudent to do so.

    In the meantime, families should begin preparing for what they will do if schools are closed for an extended period. This could be considerably challenging for many families, so it is imperative that you plan for what you will do in such a situation. If schools close, so will daycares, before- and after-school programs, extra-curricular activity providers, etc. Now is the time to ensure you have your plans in place so you are not caught off guard if we need to close schools.

    If there comes a time when we have a case of COVID-19 within our school population, we will follow CDC guidelines in determining closures. Depending on the specifics of the case, this may include requiring a small number of students and/or staff to self-quarantine at home, or it may require us to close a specific school for a day or two to complete a sanitizing cleaning.



    Student Absences


    There are limited situations where specific families may need to make alternative attendance decisions even though our schools are open. For example, if a member of your household is part of a vulnerable population (as defined by the CDC), you should determine how you will limit contact between that person and others in the household who are coming and going.

    If we do NOT close school, but a family keeps the student home:

    • If the student is ill or is medically vulnerable, the absence will be excused in accordance with our standard attendance procedures (which include medical documentation for extended absences).
    • If the student is not ill, but is under a quarantine issued by appropriate government authorities, the absence will be excused with written documentation from that authority. Such documentation must be provided to the school as soon as possible, preferably prior to the student’s absence.
    • If the student is not ill, but lives with an individual who is recommended to self-quarantine (such as those over 60, those with compromised immune systems, etc.) and the family wishes to extend that self-quarantine to the student to protect the health of the family member, the absence will be excused with written confirmation of the living arrangement and reason for self-quarantine. Such written confirmation must be provided to the school as soon as possible, preferably prior to the student’s absence.
    • If the student is not ill, and there is not an individual in the household under quarantine (as specified above), the absence will be unexcused in accordance with our standard attendance procedures.
    • In the four situations described above, we are generally unable to provide educational enrichment since teachers will still be providing educational services to the students in school.
    • It is CSD’s expectation that students under family-directed quarantine are excluding themselves from all in-person CSD-related activities (i.e. not only from school, but also from field trips, sporting events, club activities, prom, etc.) until such time as the current health concerns diminish.



    Large Group Gatherings


    Based on our most recent consultation with health experts, we believe it is prudent to begin implementing limits on large group activities.
    Effective immediately, we will curtail large gatherings, such as community circle at the elementary schools, and instead engage in smaller activities limited to the size of a classroom community.


    Athletic events will be limited in the following ways:

    • Only games that pertain to state qualifying will be played at this time.
    • Those games that are still held will be limited to players and staff only. Fans (including parents and other students) will not be admitted.
    • Games that involve opponents from a school with presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be cancelled.
    • Away games against opponents that are not following procedures similar to those above will be canceled.


    We are exploring alternatives to how we currently serve lunch. The most viable option at this time is to have students eat lunch in classrooms. In such a case, students eating school lunch would visit the cafeteria on a staggered basis and return to their classroom to eat. These details are still being worked out and will be communicated to students once finalized.


    Where possible, we will limit the number of students present in the hallways during passing times by staggering classroom dismissals.


    Community meetings in our schools will also be cancelled, such as PTSA/PTO meetings. Look at district and school calendars and newsletters for updates.



    Field Trips and Travel


    Out-of-country and out-of-state field trips and travel for students and staff are cancelled until further notice. 


    Local field trips involving a single class and with limited interaction with others, such as a walking field trip to a garden, are permitted. All other local field trips are cancelled until further notice.

     


    Communicating with Schools


    The DPH stated they will communicate with CSD if staff or students of CSD test positive for COVID-19. However, we are also asking parents to directly communicate with the principal of the school where your child attends if the student is being tested for COVID-19 so we can be on alert and ready our response for action if needed.



    Food Service

     

    As shared above, and repeated here for those only interested in this topic, we are exploring alternatives to how we currently serve lunch. The most viable option at this time is to have students eat lunch in classrooms. In such a case students eating school lunch would visit the cafeteria on a staggered basis and return to their classroom to eat. These details are still being worked out and will be communicated to students once finalized.


    We are exploring whether and how we can serve our students who experience food insecurity if we get to the point of having to close schools. While the specifics of our plans will be dependent on the direction we receive from health authorities, we are ready with a variety of solutions. Those potential solutions include providing sack breakfasts and lunches that can be picked up at the high school daily or providing food in bulk for families to prepare at home. Not surprisingly food service is a highly regulated area of our operations and will necessitate many levels of approval through various government channels before we are allowed to implement any plan, especially if that plan involves non-traditional solutions like send food home in bulk for preparation at home.

     

    Infection Control and Preventive Measures 

    School staff and nurses continue to educate students about following the prevention guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH):

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
    • Stay home when you are sick. CSD requires keeping students home until they are 24 hours fever-free without medication. Contact your physician for guidance.
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands. 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Do your best to stay calm.
    • Consistent with our standard practices, be aware that if your child becomes ill at school and needs to be picked up, we request that the student be picked up within 1 hour of notification.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Updated March 10, 2020 - 11:00 am

    CSD Update on COVID-19

    Dear CSD Community,


    What we know:
    Public health officials have confirmed more COVID-19 cases in Georgia, including a Fulton County Schools employee. We are aware of two presumptive cases in DeKalb County. City Schools of Decatur has not received notice of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Decatur or DeKalb County.


    What we are doing:
    The CSD Emergency Operations Team is closely monitoring the situation, following the guidance of federal, state, and local agencies. We are adjusting our emergency operations plans as necessary.

    Maintenance and custodial staff continue to clean and sanitize our schools. Bus drivers are following our regular procedures for cleaning and sanitizing buses. We use products that have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to the 2019 novel coronavirus (also 2019-nCoV). In addition, we have plans to address sanitizing should a case of COVID-19 be identified in one or more of our schools.

    School staff and nurses continue to educate students about following the prevention guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH):

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
    • Stay home when you are sick. CSD requires keeping students home until they are 24 hours fever-free without medication.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, throw the tissue in the trash and then wash your hands. 
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    District leaders and principals are evaluating plans for field trips (local, state, and international), extracurricular activities, school and district events, etc. Announcements about cancellations or plans to reschedule, should that become necessary, will be announced by schools and the district as soon as decisions are made.

    We have plans for the event that we have to close schools. Any decision to close schools will be in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health, the CDC, the DeKalb Board of Health, and/or other state and federal agencies as appropriate. Principals are meeting with their staffs today to discuss school-specific plans. While we are aware that no at-home learning option can replace or substitute for classroom teaching, these contingency plans include providing supplemental and/or enrichment resources and opportunities for students. Our plans include a phased approach that depends on the number of days school may have to be closed. We will share details of relevant phases should the need arise.

    What families can do:

    • Continue to check for updates on our website (https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19) and in other communication mechanisms.
    • Reinforce and model healthy preventative practices, such as washing hands and staying home from school or work when ill.
    • Parents should log into the Infinite Campus Parent Portal (https://campus.csdecatur.org/campus/portal/decatur.jsp) and confirm family contact information, especially cell phone and email, is current. Contact your school’s main office if you need assistance logging into the Parent Portal.
    • Consistent with our standard practices, be aware that if your child becomes ill at school and needs to be picked up, we request that the student be picked up within 1 hour of notification.
    • Respond to inquiries from your school in a timely manner as we work to determine families’ access to technology and need for food assistance.
     
     
     
    Updated March 9, 2020

    Click here for the City Schools of Decatur frequently asked questions. This document will be updated as we receive more information.



    Updated March 3, 2020 - 10:00 am
    On Monday, March 2nd, Governor Brian Kemp confirmed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has positively identified two Georgia residents with the coronavirus. We are closely monitoring the developments related to COVID-19 and we continue to follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal agencies. (Link to DPH News release)
     
    As soon as updates are available, they will be posted here.

    COVID-19 Symptoms
    COVID-19 Symptoms 

     

    Updated February 28, 2020 - 12:00 pm

    City Schools of Decatur is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The District is working with and following the guidance of local and state agencies including the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 


    The District has protocols in place due to the current cold and flu season. We will continue to implement these efforts and can increase, should that be warranted. In addition, we are following the GaDOE’s recommendations to schools to prepare contingency plans for COVID-19. This is an ever-evolving situation, and we will evaluate our plans and make adjustments if necessary as new information becomes available. City Schools of Decatur is ready to take appropriate measures as needed.


    According to state and local health agencies, at this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Decatur or Georgia. Please remember that we are in the flu and cold season. As a standard routine precaution, we are actively assessing and monitoring incidents of illness presenting with flu-like symptoms in our schools. 


    The Georgia Department of Public Health recommends the following to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

    • Stay home when you are sick. DPH recommends keeping students home until they are 24 hours fever-free without medication.

    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash. 

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


    Our schools will continue to reinforce these healthy habits. We also encourage everyone to do their part to keep our community healthy by building these habits into their daily routines. 


    We will continue to monitor information from federal, state, and local agencies, and we will provide updates via our website, newsletters, and other communication mechanisms as appropriate. 


    Resources:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    Georgia Department of Public Health- https://dph.georgia.gov/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-outbreak

    World Health Organization-
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

     


    Updated February 28, 2020 - 9:30 am

    A message from the Georgia Department of Public Health:

    Dear School Leaders and School Health Professionals:

    While the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is an ever-evolving situation, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) continues to recommend, at this time, that schools and child care facilities follow the guidance dated Feb. 6, 2020. DPH will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and update guidance to schools and the community as needed.  

    COVID-19 spreads like other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold, primarily through coughing or sneezing by those who already have symptoms. There have also been rare reports of spread from an infected patient with no symptoms to a close contact. The best way to prevent infection with any respiratory virus, including COVID-19, is to use the same preventive strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: get a flu shot every year, wash hands regularly with warm water and soap, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when experiencing symptoms of illness. The immediate health risk to the general public in the U.S. and schools is still considered to be low.

    Schools can prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak by:

    • Communicating with school staff and parents about measures to prevent illness such as annual flu shots, regular handwashing, cough, and sneeze etiquette, and staying home when ill.

    Only if necessary, DPH will make additional recommendations which may include temporary school and child care closures, cancellation of large group gatherings, or other community level strategies.

    For information about COVID-19 and contact information for local public health in GA, please visit the DPH website: https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus.

    For additional information about COVID-19 visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/index.html


    Additional information for schools and universities


    Thank you,

     

    Georgia Department of Public Health

     

      

    Updated February 27, 2020

    Click here for the latest letter from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

     



    Updated February 7, 2020

    Dear CSD Families,

    We have received a lot of inquiries regarding the new coronavirus outbreak. CSD wants to make certain we are keeping our students, families, and staff as healthy as possible by keeping you informed. With information changing so quickly and every news report about the virus seeming to raise the stakes, you may be wondering how worried you should be. Please see this guidance sent from the Georgia Department of Public Health. As more information becomes available, public health organizations will be sharing key information and strategies, and we will keep you updated.


    From the Georgia Department of Public Health-

    “Because of the ever-expanding global outbreak, the federal government announced that all individuals (which may include students, faculty, or staff) who have traveled to China in the past
    14 days and returned on or after February 3, 2020, will be requested to remain at home and be monitored for 2019-nCoV symptoms by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

    Students, faculty, or staff whose family members have traveled from China in the last 14 days (and are being monitored for symptoms) do not need to be excluded from school. We understand that school staff, parents and the community are concerned about the health and safety of our children, however, it is important to understand the risk of disease transmission and not impose unnecessary restrictions on persons who do not present an immediate health risk.”

    If you have questions about this situation, we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider or review the information from the CDC or Georgia Department of Public Health.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

    https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

    Sincerely,

    Shonda Moore, MBA, BSN, RN
    City Schools of Decatur Lead Nurse