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The spread of COVID-19 forced area schools to shutter their doors during the end of the 2019-20 school year. Students, teachers and parents adapted, utilizing digital learning in place of traditional in-person learning for the final months of the year.

School is currently out for summer break, but Braselton area school districts are working to decide what the upcoming 2020-21 school year will look like, weighing state guidance and input from families and staff.

Current details for each school district include:

JACKSON COUNTY

The Jackson County School System is considering a number of options for reopening, including in-person instruction, remote learning or a hybrid blend of the two.

The district will base its decision on the level of spread in the Jackson County area.

If there’s low-to-no-spread, the district could return to school with added precautions. If there’s moderate spread, students may be based at home in a remote or possible blended model. Lastly, if there’s substantial spread, students may be based at home for remote learning.

The district also has an alternative calendar option to allow a longer break “during a time when illness is usually most impactful.” District leaders plan to announce the official calendar no later than July 6.

The school system also plans a virtual “Return to School COVID Conversation” for parents and students on July 7. A link to the Zoom meeting can be found on the district's Facebook page.

GWINNETT COUNTY

Gwinnett County Public Schools is preparing to start the 2020-21 school year as planned on August 5. The district plans to offer in-person learning with an option for digital learning.

The district will be asking all families which option they prefer for each of their children: in-person instruction at their child’s school or digital learning for their child at home.

Students will attend school based on the option chosen for all of first semester (through December). A change may be made after the first nine weeks, if it is needed to better serve the student.

The district sent an email out to GCPS students' parents asking them to select one of the two options for each student in the home.

Decisions must be made by July 10. Students in families who do not select an option by July 10 will be assigned to in-person instruction. Families will receive verification of their selection for each child.

HALL COUNTY

The Hall County School District plans to return to school on Aug. 7.

According to a June 25 announcement, the district plans to offer in-person instruction with added safety precautions. District leaders plan to release those protocols when they’re finalized.

The district will also work with families “for whom in-person instruction is not an option.” Those details will also be released when finalized.

“The district feels it is important that we continue to work on the details and release our final plan once we feel we have thoroughly looked at all options,” school leaders said. “We want to ensure that we are providing a safe learning environment that provides students with an opportunity to thrive.”

Updates will be posted on the school district’s website at hallco.org.

BARROW COUNTY

Barrow County School System superintendent Chris McMichael recently presented a number of options to the district’s board of education. Details will be finalized in July, according to a BCSS social media post.

Options presented were:

•Low or no spread — start date of Aug. 4 with students and staff returning to campus. Optional remote learning will be available and preventative measures in place.

•Minimal or moderate spread — delayed start date (to be determined) with students and staff returning to campus. Optional remote learning will be available and preventative measures in place.

•Substantial spread — Start date of Aug. 4 with students and staff doing remote learning.

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