GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) -- Gwinnett County Public Schools will open the 2020-21 school year on August 12 with all students receiving digital instruction due to increasing coronavirus cases, the district announced Monday.
“There is no replacement for face-to-face instruction, and that was our preferred model for starting the school year,” superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said. “With that in mind, we offered parents an option between in-person and digital instruction in order to be responsive to their wishes for their children. However, out of an abundance of concern for our students, families, and employees, we made a very difficult decision based on the increasing number of COVID-19 cases we are seeing in our county, as well as the concerns that have been expressed by our teachers, parents, and others in the community.”
With the move to 100% digital learning, GCPS plans to address challenges that exist in terms of student access to devices and reliable internet connections. The district will check out Chromebooks and internet hotspots to students, based on need, to ensure equitable access to quality digital learning.
“This is not the beginning of the school year we had hoped for; however, it was a possibility we planned for, knowing that keeping students and staff safe had to be a priority,” Wilbanks said. “We are confident we can do digital learning well, thanks to the quality teachers and leaders we have in this district, the comprehensive preparation over the last four months, and our steadfast commitment to do what’s best for Gwinnett students.”