The following is a transcript of Chris Ragsdale, Cobb County School’s Superintendent, announcing a plan to phase-in face-to-face learning:


The pandemic has impacted each of us differently, but it has affected us all. After over 28 years in education, never would I have thought about starting a school year in a 100% virtual environment, nor would I have ever wanted to – but this had to be the decision with the health and safety of our staff, teachers, and students being the top priority. No one knows better than me the benefit of our 113,000 students actively engaged with our awesome teachers in each of our classrooms.

Today, I am pleased to announce that the three parameters of community spread, effective contact tracing protocol, and efficient testing timeliness impacting us offering a face to face option have all been trending and continue to trend in the right direction and allow us to announce a start date for our phased plan. Beginning October 5, 2020, we will begin Phase 1, which provides our families the option of continuing in a remote learning environment or returning to a face to face environment. October 5th is the Monday following Fall break, and I trust that everyone will continue to do everything we can to keep the numbers moving in the right direction.

As we indicated would be the case in our phased model for face-to-face instruction, you will be able to submit your choice of face to face or continued remote learning beginning 8:00 AM on September 7th through September 20th using the ParentVue portal. One very important aspect of our plan is that as parents choose either face to face or remote classrooms, it is our intention that students will be taught by their existing teachers. Face to face and remote students in the same class will receive the same instruction from the same teacher. This will prevent disruptions to existing relationships students have made with teachers and will prevent teachers from being asked to do two different jobs at the same time.

* Phase One: Will see all pre-k through fifth-grade students AND pre-k through 12th-grade special education low incidence students having the option to return for full-day instruction. ASP will also resume for students in face-to-face classrooms on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Phase one will begin on October 5, 2020.

* Phase Two: Will see all sixth through eighth-grade students having the option to return for full-day instruction. Phase two is tentatively scheduled to begin on October 19, 2020.

* Phase Three: Will see all ninth through twelfth-grade students having the option to return for full-day instruction. Phase three is tentatively scheduled to begin on November 5, 2020.  This is a Thursday start date because of the election.

The schedule for all students in both face-to-face and remote classrooms will include direct instruction with the world’s best teachers on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Wednesdays will continue to be reserved for individual and small group support in the remote environment and will provide an additional opportunity for necessary cleaning and disinfecting midweek. Additional information will be communicated in the coming days regarding student schedules and bus transportation.

Our health and safety protocols will be present to keep students and staff as safe as possible.   Some of those protocols include;

* Social Distancing will be practiced whenever possible.

* Masks will be required on buses and in school buildings for students and staff, and whenever possible when teachers are teaching.

* We will provide Hand Sanitizer at multiple locations throughout schools.

* We will also be following rigorous daily cleaning guidance.

* Our awesome Food & Nutrition Services employees will continue making sure our students have nutritious meals.

We remain committed to making decisions based on public health guidance with student and staff safety being our top priority.

For those families who remain concerned about the health impacts of COVID-19, we understand and will continue to provide our remote learning option.

Thank you for your continued support, patience, and understanding as we move forward through our phased re-entry plan. I know the only way we will ensure success for each of our students is to continue working as One Team, with One Goal.

Additional details for students and parents will be provided on Friday, September 4th, and will be found on the digital home for Cobb’s Reopening Plan at Further information will be provided for our staff on the intranet and communicated by your principal.

* Each of the dates noted above is subject to public health data and guidance for Cobb County.