ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Central Florida school districts have voted to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Osceola County School District has decided to delay the start of the school year to Aug. 24. Schools were supposed to reopen on Aug.10.
The new academic calendar can be found at www.osceolaschools.net.
In Seminole County, the school district approved back-to-school plans and delayed the beginning of the 2020 year during a workshop and special school meeting on Tuesday. School board members voted to push the first day of class to August 17.
Seminole County school leaders have laid out four options for parents:
- Face-to-Face: Learning in a classroom for 5-days-a-week traditional schooling.
- Seminole Connect: At-home learning aligned to the SCPS Instructional Plans/Frameworks and Florida State Standards.
- Seminole County Virtual School (SCVS): A fully accredited K-12 public school created and supervised by SCPS and taught by SCPS teachers. Students remain at home and work on their own schedules.
- Hybrid: A combination of Face-to-Face, Seminole Connect, and Seminole County Virtual School courses depending on grade-level.
You can find details on each option HERE.
The Volusia County School Board will hold a special virtual meeting on Wednesday to discuss reopening plans and CARES Act funding. That meeting starts at 3:30 p.m.
Both Brevard and Orange counties have yet to announce a start date.
During a board meeting on Tuesday night, Orange County wrapped up without a vote. Many Orange County board members expressed interest in pushing the start date back to August 31, which would be an even later start date than what Osceola and Seminole counties are planning for their students.
Teachers told the board they are scared for their lives to go back into the classroom after the state-mandated that all brick and mortar schools reopen next month.
The Orange County School District has proposed three options for fall:
- OCPSLaunchED@Home: Full-time school that is live-streamed. A camera set up in the classroom would follow the teacher so kids at home would feel like they were there. This idea needs to be approved by the state.
- Orange County Virtual School: This option is also available for parents and guardians who want to keep their kids at home.
- Face-to-Face Instruction: Students would attend school in person. Orange County officials said they would require masks when social distancing isn’t possible and move desks further apart. They are also looking into adding partitions at desks.
The school board will meet again on Friday.
The Florida Department of Education is ordering districts to reopen all brick and mortar schools five days a week and offer full services starting in August.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been very vocal about wanting state schools to reopen as soon as possible.
"I want our kids to be able to minimize this education gap that I think has developed," DeSantis said during a press conference. "In spite of good efforts with online learning, it's just not the same, so I worry about that gap."
The Governor pointed out social distancing measures put in place by retailers and restaurants that are already open and believes if it is working for them, preventative social distancing measures can also work in schools.
"If you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools."
You can find detailed school reopening plans for Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Marion, and Alachua counties HERE.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.