ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- As Coronavirus numbers surge, back to school concerns emerge.

In Atlanta Public Schools, new Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring will recommend to the school board Monday that they push back the start date to August 24 and open the school year virtually.

“Our highest priority in returning to school is that we provide quality teaching and learning in the safest environment possible,” Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said.

Mandatory virtual learning could present some problems for parents who work or don't have the technology at home for their children to learn remotely. The Mayor of Atlanta weighed in on the issue.

“I think we're going to have to be very creative and very thoughtful on how we allow our children to go back in the classroom. Again, their protecting our kids is extremely important but again I think our bigger concern is for the older folk, the adults who will be interacting with our children,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.

In Fulton County, the first day is scheduled for August 17th and parents have a choice of either face to face learning or virtual learning.

In DeKalb County, there is no official plan in place. The school board is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss a plan.

In Cobb County, school will start on August 17 and students will have the option of face to face learning or remote learning.

And in Gwinnett County, the first day of school is August 12. Students will also have the option of face to face learning or virtual learning but only for the first semester.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos said schools must reopen despite the pandemic.

"The CDC guidelines are just that, meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation," Devos said. "Kids need to be in school. They need to be learning, they need to be moving ahead. And we cannot be paralyzed and not allow that or not be intent on that happening.”

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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