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Atlanta school playgrounds to reopen for limited community use

By Vanessa McCray, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Atlanta Public Schools plans to reopen playgrounds and walking areas that closed in the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Superintendent Lisa Herring announced during Tuesday’s board meeting that the district soon will allow residents to use those recreation spaces. APS has not yet set a date for when the sites will reopen. Schools will set the hours of operation.

Board Chairman Jason Esteves said many people are looking for outdoor places where they can be physically active. He noted that in some Atlanta neighborhoods, schools provide the only green space.

“Citizens want these playgrounds and these fields open so they can exercise and be free to use them,” he said.

People who use the sites will need to follow social distancing rules, he said.

Community groups that lease district-owned practice fields will need to have “individual conversations” with school principals to determine if those spaces can be used, Herring said.

APS began the school year with virtual learning on Aug. 24. Officials said classes will be online for the first nine weeks of the semester or until there is minimal to moderate spread of the virus.

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