The plan to reopen City Schools of Decatur for in-person learning this month has been postponed until January after protests from parents and teachers concerned about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Staff was slated to return beginning Oct. 19 with students arriving shortly thereafter in  phases, but after another protest outside Decatur’s school headquarters, teacher resignations, and new data on COVID-19 cases, Superintendent David Dude announced a postponement until at least Jan. 5, 2021.

According to a report in Decaturish, the school system has been using the number of cases to help decide when it was time to return to classroom. The predictive curve from the data available on Sept. 18 indicated that by Oct. 12, COVID-19 cases in DeKalb County would have dropped to about 35 per 100,000.
“Unfortunately, that’s not what happened,”  Dude said during the Oct. 13 school board meeting. Cases are currently at 105 per 100,000, higher than when schools were closed in March.
Parents had continued to raise concerns about safety, sanitation, masks, and how teachers would manage simultaneously educating students in-person and online.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.