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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Jul. 17, 2020 3 weeks ago

Volusia County School Board to vote on reopening plan on Tuesday

However, plans remain fluid, the district says.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

The Volusia County School Board will be voting on the district's proposed plan to reopen schools — composed of three different options for students as well as a delayed start date — in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, July 21, though Volusia Schools also states these plans "remain fluid."

The School Board was presented with the reopening plans during a virtual meeting on Wednesday, July 15, a result of an executive order by the Florida Department of Education mandating that all brick and mortal schools must open at least five days a week when classes commence. 

Several board members expressed concern about reopening schools this August as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in both the state and Volusia County. On Friday, July 17, the state reported 11,466 new cases of COVID-19, of which 188 came from Volusia. The county is reporting an average positivity rate of 11.75% for the last two weeks.

“We are educators, we’re not medical personnel," Board member Linda Cuthbert said. "This time last year the issue was guns. Our state government wanted our teachers to be armed to protect our students. This year too they want them to be armed only in a completely different manner.”

The virtual meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. To speak during public participation, call 734-7190, ext. 20236. Phone lines open 30 minutes before the meeting starts, a press release states.

The presentation is available online, but here is a quick overview of what the three learning options entail.

Traditional classroom setting

Who is this for: Those who feel comfortable returning to school or students who prefer face-to-face instruction.

What to expect:

  • Daily temperature checks for students and staff once they arrive at school
  • Face coverings will be required on buses, during transitions, arrival, dismissal and small group instruction. They will be "strongly encouraged" during classroom instruction.
  • Social distancing in classrooms and cafeterias
  • Non-essential visitors will be limited from campus visits
  • Outdoor classroom opportunities whenever possible
  • One-way hallways

Volusia Live

Who is this for: Those who do not feel comfortable returning to school.

What to expect:

  • Online face-to-face lessons in real time, where curriculum and bell schedule are the same as in a traditional classroom
  • The student will remain enrolled at his or her school and be taught remotely by a teacher from that school.
  • Pre-K students through second graders will be provided instruction through Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • Third to twelfth graders will livestream lessons through Microsoft Teams or Zoom in real time.
  • Students can still be enrolled in Cambridge, IB, AP, and other special programs.

Enhanced Volusia Online Learning

Who is this for: Those who do not feel comfortable returning to school and families that need flexibility in scheduling.

What to expect:

  • Learn at your own pace without a set schedule
  • Fully-online program
  • Extra-curricular activities and clubs will be available
  • 3-5 hours per week for subjects
  • two to four assignments per week
  • Advanced, honors and AP classes available


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