Leon County Schools lay out reopening plan for parents ahead of July 13 deadline

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - New details have been released about what the fall semester will look like for thousands of students in Leon County.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna hosted a virtual meeting with parents on Wednesday to lay out the framework that has been put in place to keep students safe as schools look to re-open in the fall.

“I know pushing back the start date isn’t ideal parents, but we have to get this right,” Hanna said in Wednesday’s Facebook Live, as he expressed a desire to push for a nine-day delay to the upcoming school year, hoping to see students return August 19.

Hanna says they’d try to make up the days during the school year, but could also make it stretch into June.

“We’ll make adjustments as much as we can with the calendar we already have,” he said.

The plans laid out for the 33,000 students in the county and 4,500 employees, who will most likely not be required to get tested for COVID-19 before school is back in session.

There are two options for the fall semester.

One, for those who plan to return to campus, includes a bevy of safety precautions: Masks on school buses, temperature checks and masks required in classrooms where six feet of distance is not possible.

Hanna says the district has 400,000 masks available for their disposal.

The second option, for those who continue distance learning: 30,000 Chromebooks are in transit to help with that, and the wifi-equipped school buses will remain for those who need it.

More details are expected on Thursday, but Hanna says parents need to make a decision regarding how their children will learn in the fall by July 13.

Hanna says once a decision is made, parents can not go “flip-flopping.”

Once parents decide, the district will begin to work on a staffing plan.

Also in Wednesday’s video, Hanna said:

  • A specialized ‘strike team’ has been established to sanitize the classrooms in the case of a sick student
  • Individualized plans are being made for those with health issues or special needs
  • Before and afterschool programs will be operating at 100% come the fall, but the fate of athletics is still unknown
  • Bus routes will go untouched.

Hanna will hold another video on Thursday regarding the continuation of distance learning; what Hanna is calling “digital academies”.

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