School districts across the Big Bend plan at-home learning

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 19, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With school closures extending into April for much of the region, many districts are making plans for students to continue learning from home.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all schools to remain closed until April 15 in order to limit the spread and exposure of the coronavirus. The Governor also announced that all remaining state testing for school readiness, voluntary Pre-K and K-12 will be canceled for this school year.

Many North Florida districts are developing programs and strategies for students to continue learning outside the classroom. Below is a list of each district and how they are responding.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing and fluid situation. This list is subject to change as district officials learn more about how to respond.

Calhoun County School District:

District officials say they continue working on a plan for digital learning. Information packets will posted on each school wesbite. The district will continue feeding students at 11 different locations, and those packets will also be there available for pick up. The district says teachers will continue communicating with parents in order to answer any questions students may have, as well as coordinating how packets can be returned. The program is scheduled to begin March 30, when students return from Spring Break.

Hamilton County School District:

Each grade in the elementary school will create informational packets, books and other materials for each student, available for parents to pick up or coordinate delivery. Teachers will be available to virtually communicate with students as they work through the material. At the high school, lessons will be provided virtually through an online system. School administration say most students already regularly use this system. Hamilton County Schools officials say they also expect to add virtual field trips and some physical activity instructions. These programs will begin March 30.

Lafayette County Schools:

Lessons and materials will be made available for students online on March 30. District staff say more information will be posted on Facebook, the district website, as well as through parent all-calls.

Leon County School District:

School officials announced a district wide plan to provide students with packets of instructional material covering all core classes. The packets will be available on the district's new COVID-19 website, as well as each school website beginning March 30. There will also be paper packets for any students without access to internet. Those will be available at any of the meal distribution locations, as well as at each school. School officials are still finalizing plans for seniors. The district says instead of using these packets, each high school will coordinate with teachers and students in order to develop a more individualized plan for graduation. Principals are expected to finalize plans by the middle of next week.

Madison County School District:

District officials say staff will spend the week of March 23 to plan and prepare an Instructional Continuity Plan. In a statement, Superintendent Shirley Joseph said, "As a district we have two goals. One goal is to keep staff and students safe. Out next goal is to keep learning going." The district plans to moving to home-based learning beginning March 30.

Suwannee County School District:

The Suwannee County School District is developing an Instructional Continuity Plan (ICP) which outlines intent and ability to provide for all students. The Pre-K through Grade 5 plan will include materials by grade level in reading, math, science and social studies. These packets will be available online throuh the district website beginning March 30, as well as for pick up at school sites. Students in Grade 6 through Grade 12 will have online instruction in the Canvas learning management platform. The district says all student in Grade 6 and up have been assigned a Chromebook and use the Canvas system. A paper packet of information will be available for any students without access to internet. School district officials say these plans continue to be developed and finalized. At-home learning is scheduled to begin March 30.

Wakulla County Schools will begin passing out educational packets on Monday, March 23. Parents or students may pick them up at their school between 9:30 and 11 a.m. They can also be picked up from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of that week.

After March 27, the packets will be available at the school board offices on 69 Arran Road in Crawfordville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday. Call 850-926-0065 if you need more information.

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