Marietta Loosens COVID Class Protocol, OKs Summer School Funding | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

MARIETTA, GA — Marietta City Schools board members unanimously approved almost $900,000 for summer school for all grade levels and is set to relax COVID-19 safety protocols in classrooms starting Monday.

The summer school programs aim to help tighten the gaps students may experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic that could affect their successful transition into the next grade level or course in the fall, and enable seniors to graduate.

The district will have in-person and virtual summer learning for kindergarten through eighth grade, high school summer classes and a summer academy — called EXCELerate Academy — for rising ninth graders.

The up to $800,000 K-8 summer school program is funded through federal COVID-19 relief bill money, while the $99,400 high school program and academy will be funded by grants, charter funds and the district’s general fund.

Here’s the schedule for the various summer learning programs:

K-8 Summer Learning

  • Grades K-5: June 7-July 2
    • Three days of academic engagement, nine hours of in-person instruction weekly
    • Six hours of virtual instruction per week
  • Grades 6-8: June 2-June 30
    • Four days of academic engagement

Grades 9-12 Summer Learning

  • Summer school: June 7-July 15
    • Free for students recovering credits from failed classes, and for those eligible for graduation after summer school ends
    • $220 per 0.5 credit for students taking it for credit accrual
  • EXCELerate Academy: June 7-July 8
    • For rising ninth graders only
    • Free for qualified students
    • Excludes Georgia High School Association’s “Dead Week” from June 28-July 4

More information on the K-8 program can be found here, while info on the high school program can be found here.

The district is also set to reduce the amount of space between students in the classroom and give teachers the option to remove protective shields from desks starting Monday, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance from March.

The CDC changed its physical distance recommendation last month from six feet to at least three feet in classrooms, and removed its previous recommendation for physical barriers in schools. Effective Monday, MCS teachers will be able to follow this new guidance when possible, Superintendent Grant Rivera said.

Teachers will have a choice to remove the shields on their students’ individual desks as long as they are at least three feet apart and facing the same direction. The shields will remain on tables and desks that are grouped together, facing each other and/or are less than three feet apart.

“In closing, I recognize that many of you are wondering about what our classrooms and schools will look like come August 2021,” Rivera said in a letter to parents, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Please know we will continue to take a common-sense approach aligned to both the science and public health recommendations.”

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