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All Gainesville students won't be coming back to campus on Sept. 8 after all. Here's why
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Gainesville Exploration Academy teachers Chloe Thomas, left, and Lauren Callaway gather supplies Wednesday, July 29, 2020, as they prepare for the upcoming school year. - photo by Scott Rogers

Some Gainesville City School students will have to continue remote learning a bit longer than expected.  

According to an email sent out Wednesday morning by Superintendent Jeremy Williams, the school system, which was originally scheduled to return fully to face-to-face learning on Tuesday, Sept. 8, will instead go through a “phase-in” plan to stagger the return of students.  

On Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Wednesday, Sept. 9, only self-contained students, Pre-K through second-grade students, sixth-grade students and ninth and tenth-grade students will attend in-person classes. All students will return for face-to-face instruction on Thursday, Sept. 10.  

Students in grades 3-5, 7-8 and 11-12 will continue remote learning on Sept. 8-9, following the same schedule for virtual meetings they are currently, “unless different arrangements have been made.” Meals will continue to be delivered via bus routes for those participating in remote instruction on Sept. 8-9.  

The schedule change will not affect Gainesville Virtual School students.  

“The Face-to-Face (F2F) Phase-In Framework was designed to balance the safety and health of our students and employees while prioritizing the needs of our youngest students and students in new transitions,” the school system wrote in a document explaining the phased return to in-person learning. “... The two-step process will ensure proper protocols as Red Elephants return to school. Thank you for being flexible as we began the school year differently than other years.” 

The Gainesville City School system already pushed back the start of in-person instruction in late July. The Hall County School District also used a staggered approach with its return to in-person instruction this week.  

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