Students may begin returning to DeKalb County School District classrooms on March 9 from a pandemic closure in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The DeKalb County School District plans to announce their strategy for reopening schools at a Feb. 23 address it calls the “State of the District,” according to a press release. Schools will place students into two cohorts based on last name and instructional program in order to maintain proper social distancing. Those groups will participate in hybrid in-person learning based on their choice to attend school in-person or not. Students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and Grades 1, 2, 6 and 9 will begin in-person learning on March 9. Students in all other grades will begin on March 15.  More information on the reopening plan for schools can be found here. Residents can watch “The State of the District” address here to learn more.

YouTube video

The Atlanta Police Department is seeking a man who robbed a Buckhead bank on Feb. 17. According to APD, the robbery happened around 4:23 p.m. at a Fifth Third Bank at the Lindbergh Plaza shopping center. The bank has a street address of 2555 Piedmont Road, but is located on Sidney Marcus Boulevard about two blocks east of Piedmont. The robber walked to the counter and passed the teller a note demanding money, according to APD. The teller gave the robber money — APD did not specify the amount — and the robber then left on foot. The suspect was described by APD only as a Black male. In security camera footage released by APD, the suspect is wearing a surgical-style face mask. Anyone with information can call (404) 577-8477 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office has released the first progress update on the One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan. The report highlights affordability progress made through December 2020 by her administration, Atlanta Housing, Invest Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Land Bank, and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. In just the second year of the six-year plan, the city has launched more than 65% of the actions detailed in the plan. Since January of 2018, the city and its agencies have committed and invested more than $497 million in the creation and preservation of 6,007 affordable homes. In 2020, $22 million was dedicated to emergency housing assistance efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city also created an anti-displacement tax fund set to launch in 2021 to assist legacy residents to remain in their homes. Additionally, the Housing Affordability Tracker was launched to increase transparency and accountability. Last month, Bottoms signed legislation enacting into law her Executive Order to invest $50 million in new bond funding and setting the stage for $100 million in housing opportunity bonds. The One Atlanta: Housing Affordability Action Plan Progress Report can be viewed online here.

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.