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Input Needed - CSD Return to School K-12 Scenarios

Update: Please use to reach the team working on the reopening plans. 


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We are considering three scenarios for fall: in-person every day, in-person every other day, or fully online.


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After a great deal of input from stakeholder groups, we are looking into three scenarios for the fall. Our goal is to bring back as many students and staff as safely as possible for in-person learning on August 4th, but we do not yet have enough information to make a final decision on which scenario is best. We need your input. Please keep an eye out for an email with a link to an important survey about the scenarios we are considering. One scenario is a full return to school for all students with additional precautions. The second scenario is returning to school in a full virtual learning environment. The third scenario is a modified schedule with alternating in-person A/B days for students.


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We understand this is an ongoing stressful situation and we are all anxious for details about opening next year. 


Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we develop plans for how CSD will welcome students back in August. As we started this work, it became clear that developing a plan would take much longer than we originally anticipated. We focused on building details around three scenarios: full digital learning, returning to normal with additional precautions in place, and a modified schedule with alternating in-person A/B days for students. Please note, these scenarios apply to our K-12 schools only. Pre-K students will receive additional information at a later date. Several stakeholder groups reviewed our initial ideas and provided feedback and input. These stakeholder groups included teachers, administrators, and a group of parents and community members who work for local hospitals, universities, and public health organizations. Each group was able to provide us with a wealth of information to consider as we finalized our plans.  


Below you will find an outline of three options that we are continuing to refine. After you have read over the three scenarios, we are asking parents and staff to complete a survey. This survey will assess your comfort level with these different options and other precautions we are considering for when students and staff return. Every parent with an email address registered in Infinite Campus will be emailed a link to this survey. The survey will close at 8:00 am on July 6th. If you do not receive the survey email by 6:00 pm today, June 23rd, please review the following possible reasons:


As you read through the scenarios, we realize that some information may seem broad and nonspecific, please know that we are continuing to engage with stakeholder groups to refine details for each of these options.  By July 17, we will communicate additional details for families and staff based on survey input as well as any additional feedback we receive from the continued work of the stakeholder groups.


Scenario 1: Students return in person for daily instruction with the following precautions in place. 

  • School begins as scheduled on August 4th.
  • Social distancing protocols in classrooms and other spaces (to the extent possible). 
  • Reductions in the intermingling of groups (to the extent possible). 
  • Visitors limited to essential visits only.
  • Athletics and activities following the guidance from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).
  • Enhanced hygiene protocols such as hand sanitizer stations, scheduled handwashing times for younger students, and encouraging older students to wash their hands as frequently as possible. 
  • An emphasis on social emotional health. 
  • Students strongly encouraged to wear a face shield or a face mask. Staff wearing a face mask or face shield.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting. 
  • Ventilation systems frequently monitored for proper operation.
  • Periodic screenings, including random temperature checks. Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of 100.4 or higher isolated immediately and sent home.
  • Specific action steps for how the school will respond to positive COVID-19 cases will be implemented. These action steps are still in development. 


  • Hand sanitizer for students and drivers.
  • Face mask or face shield required for all drivers.
  • Students riding the bus are required to wear a mask or face shield.
  • Clean and disinfect buses daily after morning and afternoon routes.
  • No field trips.


  • Students wash hands before and after meals
  • Cafeteria keypads replaced with a barcode scanning system.
  • Students eat lunch and breakfast in their classrooms.

Even if we select Scenario 1, we are making plans for parents to opt for online learning if in-school instruction is not appropriate for their family. Students who participate in school digitally instead of in-person will be required to stay in the digital learning environment for the entire grading term. Choosing online instruction would also preclude a student’s participation in in-person activities such as athletics. An online option would begin later in August to ensure the involved teachers have adequate time to prepare.


Scenario 2: Full Digital Learning

Due to certain risk factors, it might not be possible for students or staff to return to school in August. In this scenario, we would offer virtual learning for all students in grades K-12 until it is feasible for students to return to some form of in-person instruction.


As we experienced this spring, a digital learning scenario requires a significant commitment from parents. Any fall digital learning experience will be more robust than what was offered in the spring, and include:


  • Full school day Monday through Friday.
  • More interactive and recorded sessions.
  • Simplified and centralized delivery and resources.
  • Access to counseling services and live academic support.
  • A focus on core academic standards


To prepare for this more versatile online approach, full digital learning will likely start later in August to ensure teachers, counselors, and other staff have sufficient time to prepare.


As we did in the spring, CSD will provide Chromebooks and hotspots as necessary to support students’ learning at no cost to families.


Scenario 3:  Modified Learning Schedule

  • School would begin as scheduled on August 4 for half of the student body; the other half’s first day would be Wednesday, August 5.
  • To maximize social distancing, students from all grade bands K-12 would be divided into A/B Groups to attend school every other day.



Group A Attends School

Group B Attends School

Week 1

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Tuesday and Thursday

Week 2

Tuesday and Thursday

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday


  • Implementing the same precautions outlined for Scenario 1.
  • A digital-only option would still be available for students for whom in-person instruction is not appropriate for their family (see last paragraph in Scenario 1 for more information).
  • When not at school, students complete self-directed extensions, homework, or other assignments based on their in-person learning. Teachers would not provide additional online instruction on these days.
  • To the extent possible, students with special needs and/or individualized education plans would be offered additional in-person instructional time.
  • We would prioritize core content academic standards.
  • To the extent possible, coordination of households to ensure families can send siblings on the same days of the week.


What next?

Please check your email for a link to a CSD survey on these scenarios and other health and precautionary measures we are considering for August. If you do not receive an individual survey link by 6:00pm this evening, you may use this generic link. Please respond to the survey by 8:00 am July 6th. We will provide additional information about opening for fall 2020 no later than July 17th.



Dr. Maggie Fehrman

Assistant Superintendent, City Schools of Decatur