RCPS to offer virtual + in-person options for 2021-2022 school year

Terry Oatts
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CONYERS, GARockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) will offer a virtual option for K-12 students in addition to the five-days-a-week in-person default option for the 2021-2022 school year.


The elementary virtual option will have teachers solely designated for virtual classes. The middle and high school virtual option will be through our existing Rockdale Virtual Campus (RVC) which also has designated virtual teachers. These virtual models will parallel the five-days-a-week in-person learning option.


“As we continue to closely monitor our local, state, and national public health conditions, we remain committed to prioritizing our student and staff safety and well-being as we actively plan for the 2021-2022 school year,” said Superintendent Terry Oatts. “We will continue to give our families options that work best for them by offering a parallel virtual option for our K-12 students. What makes the virtual option ‘parallel’ is that those students who choose the virtual option will receive virtual instruction exclusively by those teachers designated as virtual teachers separately from those students who choose in-person instruction.”


RCPS will soon make the virtual option enrollment process available for parents who prefer the virtual option for the 2021-2022 school year. This enrollment process will only feature the virtual option because the default option is five full days a week of in-person instruction; parents who prefer the in-person option do not need to complete the virtual option enrollment process.


“RCPS has, in many ways, been a model for the state for its leadership during this public health crisis,” said Oatts. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold last spring, we have carefully and consistently monitored our local public health data, collaborated with local and state public health officials, and proactively planned so that our district and schools could effectively provide continuity of instructional and operational services and support to our students.”


“While this has been a challenging school year, the forthcoming availability of the vaccine for teachers and other educators and recent decreases in COVID-19 infections locally, statewide, and nationally are very promising,” said Oatts. “Despite the understandable optimism, there will likely be some lingering challenges that will require that we continue to maintain strong and reasonable mitigation measures designed to further thwart COVID-19 transmission within our schools now and into next school year.”


The mitigation measures include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, and regular handwashing. Additionally, RCPS has implemented a rigorous cleaning protocol that incorporates both specialized equipment and cleaners that effectively neutralize COVID-19. RCPS will be installing specialized filters and other ventilation enhancement products within its HVAC systems in keeping with public health guidance. The measures were established prior to the CDC’s recent guidance which affirms and validates RCPS’ proactive mitigation measures.


In addition to the mitigation measures, RCPS offers COVID-19 testing free of charge for students, staff, and their families. RCPS is the first district in the state to provide such comprehensive testing as part of the district’s telehealth services through Kids’-Doc-On-Wheels (KDOW).


More than 1,100 employees and students have taken advantage of COVID-19 testing to date, and RCPS will continue to offer such testing throughout this school year and will reassess its testing strategy for the 2021-2022 school year. For more information on COVID-19 testing and testing schedules, visit www.rockdaleschools.org/covid19testing.


For the latest updates on RCPS virtual and in-person options, as well as COVID-19 mitigation measures, visit www.rockdaleschools.org/reopening.


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