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Old 02-17-2021, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AtlJan View Post
Talked to an APS middle school student yesterday who said in-person school amounted to their first period class being taught in-person by the teacher, and the rest of the day kids were in that same classroom taking the rest of their classes via zoom while wearing headphones and masks, with the teacher from first period teaching her other classes via zoom in the same room. Children weren't allowed to talk at all. Just wondering why APS is so restrictive while Cherokee county is changing classes, masks optional, etc.
How in tarnation can Cherokee basically get back to normal while some of these other schools seem to just hit the panic button?
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:30 PM
 
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I sent my middle schooler back in person last week. Huge difference in his demeanor and engagement. He was clearly struggling over the past few weeks and needed to go back.
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:29 PM
 
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Default Marietta City Schools featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes story about educating kids during pandemic

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Grant Rivera and the Marietta City Schools system were featured on the most recent episode of CBS’ news magazine television show 60 Minutes about the extreme challenges of educating schoolchildren during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Quote:
Schools in Marietta, Georgia, have stayed open through some of their community's highest periods of coronavirus infection. John Dickerson reports on how the CDC studied coronavirus transmission within the city's schools.
Learning what it takes to bring students back to school amid the pandemic (60 Minutes/CBS News)
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Old 03-29-2021, 12:22 AM
 
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ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - Parents and guadians of Rockdale County Public Schools students are deciding to opt for virtual learning or send students back to the classroom five days per week starting in Fall 2021.
Rockdale Co. schools provide in-person, virtual instruction options for 2021-22 school year (FOX 5 Atlanta)
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:32 AM
 
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I understand the need for planning but their deadline is really early. I guarantee many parents who elect virtual learning based upon the current situation in April might change their minds if by August/September most adults are vaccinated and vaccine approval is granted for children as well.
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
How in tarnation can Cherokee basically get back to normal while some of these other schools seem to just hit the panic button?
Politics.

And to be (somewhat) fair, it's politics on both sides.

In a place like Atlanta or Dekalb or Clayton, there is SIGNIFICANT political pressure to keep schools closed (Atlanta Board of Education structure means that at most 1 to 2 members of a 9 person board have a constituency where the majority of voters want schools open).

As far as I'm concerned the only reason they've been opened now (particularly in Atlanta) is that APS knows that many of the kids that left schools like Jackson and Brandon (where enrollment is down 20-30%+) likely won't come back, and more would leave permanently if schools stayed part time (including from the top APS elementaries that DON'T usually see a major drop off for private - those in the Grady/Midtown cluster).

And that would be a huge hit to both budgets of those schools (both state per capita funds, and through loss in donations to the foundations that subsidize budgets for those schools), to test scores (in those schools and district-wide) and to APS.

And on top of that, there'd be (and likely still will be) a long lasting prestige hit to those schools and the willingness of Buckhead parents to send their kids to those APS schools before jumping to private for middle school.

Contrast with a Cherokee or a Forsyth, where the converse is true; if those schools were anything but pedal to the metal, not only would parents pull their kids, they'd vote out school boards en masse.

It's one of the reasons I'm glad that (through serendipity) we applied to and enrolled our kids in private school at the start of this school year (the application process started in early 2020, before COVID was a thing).

The private we're at (I can't speak for them all) is consulting (and taking the input of) legitimate experts (including current and former public health officials), of course has a bias toward in person learning, but has not been afraid to (when the science dictates) have school be virtual for a period here or there.

Parents have been broadly supportive (even of short term closures) when they feel that there's science (not politics) behind the decisions.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:57 AM
 
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Clayton Board of Education approves 2021-22 school calendar (Clayton News Daily)
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BobbyJayATL View Post
Politics.

And to be (somewhat) fair, it's politics on both sides.

In a place like Atlanta or Dekalb or Clayton, there is SIGNIFICANT political pressure to keep schools closed (Atlanta Board of Education structure means that at most 1 to 2 members of a 9 person board have a constituency where the majority of voters want schools open).

As far as I'm concerned the only reason they've been opened now (particularly in Atlanta) is that APS knows that many of the kids that left schools like Jackson and Brandon (where enrollment is down 20-30%+) likely won't come back, and more would leave permanently if schools stayed part time (including from the top APS elementaries that DON'T usually see a major drop off for private - those in the Grady/Midtown cluster).

And that would be a huge hit to both budgets of those schools (both state per capita funds, and through loss in donations to the foundations that subsidize budgets for those schools), to test scores (in those schools and district-wide) and to APS.

And on top of that, there'd be (and likely still will be) a long lasting prestige hit to those schools and the willingness of Buckhead parents to send their kids to those APS schools before jumping to private for middle school.

Contrast with a Cherokee or a Forsyth, where the converse is true; if those schools were anything but pedal to the metal, not only would parents pull their kids, they'd vote out school boards en masse.

It's one of the reasons I'm glad that (through serendipity) we applied to and enrolled our kids in private school at the start of this school year (the application process started in early 2020, before COVID was a thing).

The private we're at (I can't speak for them all) is consulting (and taking the input of) legitimate experts (including current and former public health officials), of course has a bias toward in person learning, but has not been afraid to (when the science dictates) have school be virtual for a period here or there.

Parents have been broadly supportive (even of short term closures) when they feel that there's science (not politics) behind the decisions.
Thanks for your comments, bobbyjay. I was interested in your stating that enrollment is down 20-30% at Buckhead public elementaries. My kids are in private school, so I'm out of the loop. Are in enrollment #s published somewhere? I realize your info may be anecdotal, but where do you sense the kids are going? homeschool? moving to suburbs? switching to private? Is it balanced across grade levels?
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlJan View Post
Thanks for your comments, bobbyjay. I was interested in your stating that enrollment is down 20-30% at Buckhead public elementaries. My kids are in private school, so I'm out of the loop. Are in enrollment #s published somewhere? I realize your info may be anecdotal, but where do you sense the kids are going? homeschool? moving to suburbs? switching to private? Is it balanced across grade levels?
Enrollment counts are here - they have to be reported to the state the first week of October and March by school, so they're there not just for APS but every public school in the state.

I will also point out that APS has been very adept at attempting to game the numbers. For instance, there wasn't a definitive announcement in Fall 2020 that APS would be (basically) virtual indefinitely (they kept making it seem like a week or two at a time) until after the fall enrollment count occurred (which probably explains the 4-5% additional enrollment drop at Jackson between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021).

Likewise, I don't consider it coincidence that APS just recently announced that Fall 2021 was planned to be "normal"/5 days a week (just ahead of private school decisions, which I think come tomorrow/next week).

We're in the Jackson zone (though at a private ourselves) and I know that Jackson had a principal-led "dispel the myths" zoom call last week clearly targeted at parents getting ready to make that decision.

Jackson had 712 in March of 2020, and has 522 now (so a 27% drop).

Brandon 929 in March of 2020, and has 817 now (so that's more like 12%).

The spread varies it seems; Jackson it seems more front loaded while Brandon the drop is more spread across the board.

I'd imagine in large part (at least in Buckhead) there are a number of kids in APS elementaries that have families that can afford private, intend to go private in middle or high school anyway, and while normally they stick with public for elementary, have collectively said "**********".

APS insists all these people will be back. To be fair I assume they're basing that in part on the fact that you by definition could not have had massive quantities of kids move to the traditional privates given the application cycle (we actually went to private this year, and the 20-21 cycle deadlines were long before the COVID shutdown, meaning no one planned to apply out for 20-21 based on COVID).

And of course, also in part that Kindergarten (where the biggest drop is) is not mandatory attendance by law at age 5 - so there likely are folks who kept kids home (though I think that's probably less common in Atlanta where there are fewer stay at home moms, nearby extended family to watch kids, and the like than in, say, Cherokee County.)

But I know anecdotally of a number of kids that DID find slots at some non-traditional privates. And of course, if you're a parent at one of the traditional privates that has his kid at Jackson for ES, but has sent a couple already through your school for middle and high, and maybe has given a bit to the annual fund, they probably miraculously allowed a late application and/or found a slot for your third grader.

On top of that, for 21-22 I've spoken to admissions folks at a couple of the traditional privates that have mentioned applicant pools twice the normal size or more.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:26 AM
 
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Wow, those drops at Jackson & Brandon are precipitous. This could be good news for the smaller private schools. There are many hidden gem schools in our area. It is bad news for the city of Atlanta and for property values, however. I'm thinking many of these families for whom private school tuition is a stretch will move to lower property tax parts of the metro. Thank you for the information.
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