LCS announces nearly 3,400 students moving back to classroom

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - After two weeks, parents have decided on whether or not their child will switch from in-person to virtual learning, or vice versa.

Monday, Leon County Schools announced that out of 17,000 students who are currently virtual, about 3,400 are making the move to go back to school.

Those changes will be put into effect on November 3.

Parents say that while those decisions have been made, it is still a scary leap of faith. But it is one they are hoping is in the best interest of their children.

“It’s a hard battle just to decide, it took me a minute just to decide exactly what I wanted to do,” said Jessica Nelson, a mother of four.

Her kids, three of which are in elementary and one in middle school, have spent the first nine weeks learning from home. Now she explains why she is making the change to brick and mortar, “The virtual is not really working much, the Zoom does not really work, it is more hectic of them being out trying to figure it out rather than them being in there. And I am trying to go back to work so I need them in regular school.”

And families, like Daniel Smith’s, hope that their children are being taught in the classroom will result in an improvement in grades, and a change in demeanor.

“My son said to me last night that I am really nervous but really excited, I said why? He said, ‘One I don’t have to look at a computer all day, and I get to see people, I get to talk to them. And I want to be able to go back to making As and Bs,’” Smith said.

Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna says that 55% of students in the district will show up to the classroom, while 45% have decided to log in. And while the next nine weeks are set in stone, the district will continue to be flexible.

“Every nine weeks for us to re-evaluate where families are,” Superintendent Hanna said. “I think that is prudent on our part and I think that is important to continue to give students and families options.”

While parents who have chosen to make the switch share they are confident in the district and are excited for their children, the road ahead is still filled with uncertainty.

“There’s that little bit in my gut that says no we should not send them back, they are our babies,” states Smith, “But we are never going to get anywhere if we don’t send our kids forward.”

Nelson adds, “I’m not 100% im mostly 60/40. 40% being okay but 60% is their learning is what I am concerned about but I really don’t want the pandemic to mess with them either. I want them to stay healthy as possible. I’m kind of torn still.”

In regards to concerns about COVID-19 cases in schools, Leon County Schools share since the beginning of the school year, they have had roughly 76 positive cases. For positive students, Dr. Cox states that is about one-third of 1% of students. Those who have tested with the virus did not contract the virus during the school day, but rather through extra-curriculars or at home.

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