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Schools statewide closed through April 24; Gainesville shifting food deliveries to students
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Valeria Del Rio, a fourth grader at Martin Technology Academy, uses a Chromebook Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, for schoolwork. - photo by Scott Rogers

Georgia public K-12 schools will be closed through April 24 after Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Thursday banning in-person instruction.

Online learning and food deliveries to students will continue in Gainesville and Hall County schools with the exception of spring break, which is April 6-10.

“We have every intention of engaging students and advancing their learning for the duration of the closure, as well as for remainder of the school year,” Hall Superintendent Will Schofield said in a press release. “Our past experience with digital learning prepared us well for this challenge, and our recent School-From-Home efforts have given us an opportunity to collaborate with each other and build upon that foundation. We are moving forward with learning.”

Gainesville will adjust its meal distributions to two drop-offs a week, starting Monday, April 13. Gainesville Superintendent Jeremy Williams said the quantity of food will be the same as before. However, bus drivers will only deliver on two days.

“We want to lift that burden it has put on bus drivers,” Williams said. “It’s a way for us to balance the stress, and also their physical safety and health.”

“Throughout this process, we will continue to seek the advice of public health officials, school leaders, and families to ensure the health and safety of the educational community,” Kemp said in a statement. “As we approach April 24, 2020, we ask for continued patience and flexibility since circumstances may change, but we encourage families to stay strong and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local leaders in the weeks ahead.”

On March 16, Kemp had ordered schools closed from March 18 to March 31. Thursday’s executive order extends those closures.

The University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia will remain closed for in-person instruction through the rest of the semester.

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