All students in the Fulton County School System will switch to remote learning in late March and mid-April so their teachers and staff can get vaccinated.

Gov. Brian Kemp opened up vaccinations to all K-12 employees beginning March 8. The FCS administration geared up plans already in the works with the Fulton County Board of Health to set up “Project Vaccinate 2021.”

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that depicts a coronavirus. (Special)

The full remote learning schedule by grade level will be:

·        Elementary schools: March 22, 23, 24

·        Middle schools: March 24, 25

·        High schools: March 25, 26

·        All schools: April 12-16 (week after spring break)

“Given the complexities of coordinating an event of this scale and the time it will take to administer vaccines to so many employees, we anticipate our instructional delivery model will be impacted,” FCS wrote in a letter to parents.

Schools will stay in remote learning the week after spring break as they anticipate a surge in cases as has happened after Thanksgiving and the winter break. The extra time will allow for vaccinations and to guard against the potential surge.

FCS acknowledged switching to remote learning for specific days requires planning, so notice was given as far in advance as possible. Principals will offer information on each school’s plan and how it impacts student instruction.

For FCS employees, there is no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine. A dedicated area will be set up at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for vaccinations. Social distancing protocols and mask wearing will be required. The reservation system is open in the employee portal to reserve a timeslot to receive the vaccine.

The school district previously held two “Super Saturday” vaccination events in January at the stadium for staff and their spouses who were 65 or older.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.