Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring says her administration is “working diligently and passionately” in preparation for in-person learning in January 2021.

During the Nov. 2 Atlanta Board of Education meeting, Herring said parents would soon receive another “intent to return” declaration form. The same options created for last month’s abandoned return plan will still be offered: face-to-face learning and two forms of virtual learning.

Of course, the return to classrooms depends on COVID-19 numbers.

“We remain in substantial spread of COVID, so we will continue to operate in a virtual capacity,” Herring said. “The district is preparing for a January 2021 return.”

Herring said there would be a virtual “fireside chat” on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. for special education parents about the planned return to in-person learning. More virtual events for all parents will occur in the coming months.

APS had hoped to begin returning to students to face-to-face learning in phases from Oct. 26 through Nov. 16. However, COVID-19 cases began trending up and parents and teachers expressed concern about safety. The delayed return has divided APS parents, especially in Buckhead, which has become a hotbed of back-to-the-classroom advocacy. At least two grassroots organizations of parents, teachers and staff are pushing for and against the delay.

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.