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Leon Classroom Teacher Association concerned about returning to classroom

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Monday was the deadline for Leon County families to decide whether to send their students back to school or continue learning from home during the fall semester.

Class for Leon County schools will begin on Wednesday, August 19.

Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna says more than half of the parents are planning to send their child back to school for face to face learning.

But, the Leon Classroom Teachers Association is concerned about the health risks for students and teachers returning to the classroom.

“There’s already 17,000 cases of minors having COVID in the state of Florida and that’s with social distancing what happens when we put them back close together?” said Brandi Faison, the District 4 Director for LCTA.

Faison is also a science teacher at Raa Middle School; she says the group is calling for required face masks in the classroom and more training to evaluate students’ health.

“We are not trained as teachers to be able to disinfect appropriately much less judge other students and peoples physical health and well-being,” said Faison.

“Masks are also going to be required in the classroom where we cannot get a distance of six feet or greater,” said Hanna.

Hanna says desks will be separated from three to six feet for distancing, and extra furniture will be moved from the classrooms.

Middle and high schools will move to block scheduling to reduce potential exposure in passing periods.

Periods will be 105 minutes long.

“So as opposed to having six classes a day with five transitions, we are moving to three classes a day with two transitions,” said Hanna.

It’s unclear how many students will be in each classroom, but teachers like Faison say the ultimate goal is health and safety.

“And we have to ensure that we keep those teachers safe and protect their health and well-being by looking at other means and measures than what we are currently adopting,” said Faison.

Faison is also the parent of a Leon County student.

She says her child will attend the digital learning academy for the fall semester.

Faison said it was a hard decision but she is putting her child’s safety first.

Leon County Schools says a student can move from face to face learning to the digital academy if the family is concerned about their safety.

However, they cannot move from digital learning to face to face learning.

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