‘Delay it with a purpose,’ says DCPS school board member about start of Jacksonville public schools

?Delay it with a purpose,? says DCPS school board member about start of Jacksonville public schools

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In less than one week, the Duval County School Board will make a decision on whether to delay the start of the school year by up to two weeks, to August 24th. Public schools in Jacksonville are currently scheduled to reopen on August 10th.

The board held a special meeting at DCPS headquarters on Thursday. At the meeting, DCPS superintendent, Dr. Diana Greene, recommended the board discuss the possibility of moving the start date.

In the meeting, school board member for District 7, Lori Hershey, suggested pushing the school year back by two weeks to allow teachers more time for virtual training. Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson interviewed Hershey virtually on Friday.

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”I had spoken with a chairwoman in St. Johns County, and their school board had recently made a decision to delay the start date, but during that time, provide professional development for their teachers regarding online instruction,” Hershey told Action News Jax on Friday.

“That made sense to me. The idea of delaying the start date just to delay it? I did not foresee how things would be a whole lot different within a couple of weeks. But it made sense to delay it with a purpose.”

Board members discussed not only the possibility of delaying the reopening of schools, but beginning school as scheduled on August 10th, with 100% virtual instruction.

The board ultimately decided to delay their decisions on how and when schools should reopen until next Thursday.

Dr. Greene told Action News Jax on Thursday her office will be meeting with the DCPS calendar committee, which includes the teachers’ union, to discuss the possibility of a delayed start date.

In the days leading up the July 23rd meeting, Dr. Greene recommends parents monitor the district’s website, review reopening plans, and consider how comfortable they would be with their children going back to schools, or learning virtually from home.