Fulton County Schools will resume in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 10.

“However, we are facing a challenge related to staffing schools,” FCS said in a press release. “With the Omicron surge over the holidays, hundreds of employees have reported positive COVID-19 test results.”

That may cause the school district to schedule office staff to cover classrooms and transportation managers to drive buses on Monday if many employees call in sick, FCS spokesperson Brian Noyes said.

The school district intends to keep face-to-face instruction. If necessary, due to operational issues such as teachers calling in sick, individual classes and schools may temporarily switch to remote learning based on local school data.

FCS will use mitigation strategies to keep students and staff safe while avoiding learning disruptions, said the release. Those strategies include remote learning decisions starting at the class level, then grade, school and city levels progressively.

“As we go forward, we will not make decisions based on a single data point, but rather a collective review of multiple factors,” the FCS release said.

Masks will be required indoors for all FCS schools and facilities through Jan. 21. After that they will be optional, and mask mandates will only be based on public health directives for those in quarantine.

Standards for isolation and quarantine have changed based on Centers for Disease control and Georgia Department of Public Health guidelines.

Anyone who tests positive must isolate at home for five days. After that they can return to school if they are asymptomatic and wear a mask around others for five more days.

Students directly exposed at school to COVID-19 can stay in school if they wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure and remain symptom free.

Correction: FCS spokesperson Brian Noyes said the school district may call in central office staff and transportation managerial assistance if many employees call in sick.

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Bob Pepalis

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