‘We are moving forward’: Florida State University School going back to virtual

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Roughly 900 students at Florida State University School will be going back to online learning starting Wednesday.

It will only impact grades 6-12, as Kindergarten-5th grade will be able to remain on campus.

The superintendent of FSUS tells WCTV that the choice was not because of a spike in cases, but staffing issues.

As of September 21, according to the school’s COVID dashboard, out of 1,835 students, two have tested positive while 98 are in quarantine. As of September 22, no new students tested positive, and 83 are in quarantine.

Out of 270 teachers at the school, 11 were in quarantine as of September 21. The next day, only eight were in quarantine.

And that is where the issue lies: There are not enough teachers right now to facilitate in-person teaching.

Superintendent of Florida State University Schools, Stacy Chambers, shares, “We have got to keep moving forward.”

Dr. Chambers announced Tuesday that almost half of her students will need to go back to online learning, an adjustment for both students and parents, like Maura Byrd.

“I think she is disappointed just because of the interaction she was having with her friends on campus," shares Byrd, the mother of a freshman, "But I think all of the students here are really resilient and we have to do what we can for our school community.”

Dr. Chambers says that even after hiring 15 additional teaching assistants, they still do not have enough teachers to aid in the classroom.

“It is not always about COVID," expressed Chambers. "People still have to have surgery on their foot, or they have to be home with their own child who is sick, or they have an ailing parent that they have to take care for.”

FSUS does not want this change to morale. On Tuesday afternoon, campus had the sounds of the marching band practicing, and the football team running drills. As of now, extracurriculars and sports are still a go.

“We are going to make sure they have everything they need and we are just going to keep adjusting," shares Chambers, "We are Florida flexible, we got this.”

And while the promise of a swift return remains, parents like Sheena Smith are unsure of what the future may hold, “I hope that they would allow it to remain virtual for the remainder of the semester and then come back in the spring.”

Byrd states, “We are all just playing it by ear and staying flexible, just because we don’t know.”

Dr. Chambers tells WCTV that the first two weeks of school were entirely remote learning, so Wednesday will hopefully be a smooth transition for both students and teachers.

Dr. Chambers also furthered that if things are safe, they may hopefully have students return earlier than October 13.

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