JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is working to find how local county school districts are protecting students from a possible coronavirus outbreak. Each district is following guidelines from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Some responded with specific safety plans that are currently in place at their schools.
On Tuesday, March 17, the Florida Department of Education announced additional guidance for schools:
- All public and private K-12 schools are closed through April 15, 2020, the Florida Department of Education announced Tuesday, March 17.
- School districts should be prepared to extend their educational calendars through June 30, 2020, to the extent feasible and necessary.
- For Collier, Duval, Sumter and Union county school districts, which are all completing their extended spring break on March 20, 2020, school campuses will remain closed through April 15, 2020, although they will begin instruction virtually on March 23. (Clay and St. Johns school districts said they would begin virtual instruction on March 30)
Duval County Public Schools announcement March 17:
"Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that all public schools must move to distance education at least through April 15.
"This announcement has moved us rapidly from planning to implementation.
"When Duval County Public Schools resumes on Monday, March 23, we will be deploying our new home education program: Duval HomeRoom.
DCPS TECHNOLOGY HELP DESK NUMBER: 904-348-5200. The help desk is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The only families that should call the number are those who have no other way of completing the survey.
"The Duval HomeRoom initiative will keep your child moving forward educationally with creative and familiar approaches to instruction appropriate for his or her grade level. Many of our activities will utilize learning platforms and programs your children routinely use. This instruction will be delivered in a way that your children can continue learning from the comfort of home while avoiding large groups as directed by health officials.
"We need your help
- First, if your family does not have computer access in the home, we need to hear from you. Please let us know through a brief survey available by clicking here. As part of our plan, we want to make sure every family has a capable device and internet connectivity. Community partners, such as Comcast, are already helping provide services so all students are able to connect.
- Second, stay tuned. Tomorrow, we will begin sharing more details and answering questions for how the Duval HomeRoom initiative will work. Our goal is to make sure everyone is ready to re-engage with education on Monday, March 23. Be sure to check our website at least once each day for updates and directions. We will also keep you informed with emails and telephone calls.
“While this is a brand new way to experience education, we truly understand this will be challenging for many families, and we will be available to support you remotely. We ask for your patience, understanding, and feedback as we transition and work through the inevitable challenges we experience along the way.”
DCPS also said that all athletic events and field trips have been cancelled.
March 17 update from Clay County Schools:
SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE: Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education announced the following updates this evening:
- Students will not return to school until Wednesday, April 15th.
- All statewide assessments have been canceled this school year.
Clay County District Schools will be ready to transition to online continuous learning for students starting the week of March 30th. The District recognizes there are many questions as a result of this announcement. Please stay tuned to our digital platforms for further information and updates.
St. Johns County
St. Johns County School District update from March 17:
We continue to receive updates and recommendations from the Florida Department of Education. As of now, students in the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) will not return to school campuses until Wednesday, April 15. SJCSD employees will report to work on Monday, March 23 and students will begin online learning on Monday, March 30. Any adjustments to this plan will be relayed directly from the SJCSD and posted on our website at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us.
For more information regarding current CDC travel advisories related to COVID-19 visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/. For updates from the Florida Department of Health on COVID-19, visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/.
Nassau County Schools will be on spring break beginning Friday, March 13th and will extend through March 27. After a conference call March 17, the district made provided the following update:
- School districts throughout Florida, including Nassau County, will be closed until April 15th.
- All PreK-12 grade state assessments will be canceled for the remainder of the year.
- We are working diligently to prepare our instructional continuity plan.
- The state is working closely with us to make sure this is no negative impact on students, especially Seniors.
In addition to information from the CDC, the district said it has developed a surveillance instrument that is submitted each week from every school’s clinic to the Health Department. They say it is monitored by the epidemiologist of the Health Department of Nassau County, and looks for “trends in several categories such as ‘Influenza-like-Illness’, ILI, and Gastro-Illness’.” They have also placed more posters around their schools reminding students and staff about sanitary procedures. Their plan can be found here.
Meals in Nassau County will be made available starting March 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Southside Elementary, Yulee Middle, Callahan Elementary and Hilliard Middle-Senior High.
Enrichment lessons for distance learning will be available Wednesday, March 25. Online lessons will be online the following week. Families that don’t have access to technology at home can check out devices the following locations:
March 26 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.:
- Southside Elementary
- Emma Love Hardee
- Yulee Primary
- Yulee Elementary
- Yulee Middle
- Wildlight Elementary
March 27 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.:
- Bryceville Elementary
- Callahan Elementary
- Callahan Intermediate
- Callahan Middle
- Hilliard Elementary
- Hilliard Middle-Senior High
On March 13, the Columbia County School District said spring break is being extended one week. Spring break will be from March 16 - March 27.
On March 17, the district released the following statement:
"Under the Florida Department of Education’s directive, Columbia County Schools will be closed from March 30, 2020, through April 15, 2020. During this time, we will utilize remote learning for all students in VPK through 12th grade.
“All students must stay home during this time. Instructional plans are being finalized this week and more information will be released early next week. All Spring 2019 - 2020 state assessments have been canceled.”
Spring break will be extended through March 27. The district released the following update on Tuesday, March 17:
"The Putnam County School District has received information from the State of Florida indicating that Spring Break will be extended until at least April 15th, 2020.
"The State of Florida has cancelled all standardized testing for the 2019/2020 school year.
"The State has also cancelled school grades for the 2019/2020 school year.
"The District Administrative team will be meeting tomorrow to provide an instructional plan for students that will take effect March 30th, this could involve online and other learning materials.
“More information coming soon!”
Spring break will be extended through March 27.
Baker County Schools posted a message from Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson on its website on Tuesday, March 17:
"I just received a call from the Department of Education as the Governor was making a public announcement. The Governor of Florida has mandated additional days for school closure through Tuesday, April 14, 2020, as a result of concerns relative to the COVID-19 virus.
"Just a reminder, we will continue the school meals program during school closure. I will continue to update you as I get additional information. I appreciate you all and your flexibility during this very difficult and unprecedented time in our nation’s history. You and your families are in my prayers. Stay healthy and be safe.
“God bless you, Sherrie”
Students will not attend Bradford County Schools Monday, March 16, 2020 - Friday, March 27, 2020. Spring break, which was formerly scheduled the week of Monday, April 13 - Friday, April 17 has been moved to Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27.
The district shared the following update on its Facebook page on Tuesday, March 17:
“As of 5:10 p.m., the State Board of Education announced new directives for schools to remain closed through April 15th. Following spring break, We will be activating our Instructional Provision Plan. This plan will allow our students to choose from multiple pathways and provide our students with standards based instruction, and connection to their teachers through various communication platforms. In the coming days, we will clarify the process to be followed by parents and students to fully understand the program they will be using at home. Please continue to check our website, and monitor District social media platforms, for additional information regarding this new resource. We are awaiting information regarding waiving missed instructional minutes, testing requirements, and graduation requirements. What we currently know is that all state assessments for the remainder of the year will be canceled, and school systems have been asked not to conduct any events that require more than 10 people gathering in a space. We understand that as the situation continues to evolve, the sharing of information may result in additional questions. As a district, we will continue to work with the state as they release new information, and make sure that we are making the most informed decisions in the best interest of our school community.”
Spring break will be extended through March 27.
The district shared the following information on Tuesday, March 17. Click here to read the entire update:
Q: When will Union County schools reopen?
A: As of now, the District plans to reopen schools April 16th tentatively. This includes Tiger’s Den Daycare. This was in response to the Governor and Commissioner of Education.
Q: What are the expectations of students and parents during this school closure?
A: When work is received, students should work to complete the assignments and activities provided to them prior to returning to school. Parents are to help provide support to students such as keeping them organized and working on the assignments and activities provided, as well as seeking out resources to help complete these assignments and activities.
Q: Will meals be provided during this time of school closures?
Meals will be delivered to locations all over Union County for all school-age children, regardless of their grade or what school they go to. Children must be present for meals to be picked up.
Meals can be picked up at the schools and times:
- Lake Butler Elementary School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- First Baptist Church Raiford 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- In Lake Butler near the car wash from 12:10 p.m. to 12:25 p.m.
- Lulu Near the volunteer fire department from 12:40 p.m. to 1 p.m.
- Providence Village Baptist Church from 11 a.m. till 12 p.m.
- Hopewell Church of Christ by faith 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
- Sardis Baptist Church from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
- Vicinity of Southwest 12th Avenue Lake Butler from 12:20 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Union County Housing Authority 12:35 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
All Brantley County Schools are closed March 17 through March 30. All school events on those days are canceled. Brantley County Schools spring break is still April 6-10.
Glynn County Schools said it would close March 17 through April 10 due to COVID-19 virus and released the following information:
"As we have continued to monitor all available information about COVID-19, recent developments related to the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 as well as the public health emergency issued by Governor Brian Kemp on March 14, 2020 have prompted GCSS to update our plan of action.
"GCSS will remain open on Monday, March 16; however, parents and guardians may keep students home without penalty if they choose.
"Schools will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17 and will remain closed until after spring break. Distance and online learning will begin for students on Wednesday, March 18 and continue through Friday, April 3. Classes will tentatively resume Monday, April 13 after spring break. The district has made the decision to remain open on Monday to allow students to receive assignments and additional instructions to ensure a smooth transition for distance and/or online learning.
"Daily medications that are provided by the school nurse will be made available to parents on Monday and Tuesday. Please contact the nurse prior to coming to the school to help avoid crowds in the office.
"The School Nutrition Department will finalize plans tomorrow for meal distributions during the school closure. The details about how and where students can access meals will be shared as soon as they become available.
"All district extracurricular activities, field trips, assemblies and sporting events will be cancelled until further notice.
"During this time of uncertainty, we appreciate our community for their support. We urge our families to exercise personal responsibility for social distancing per guidelines issued by the CDC and Georgia Department of Health. Please talk with your children about this need to stay away from large groups and to continue practicing good hygiene, particularly hand-washing.
"Monday and Tuesday will be regular workdays for all staff members of GCSS. Tuesday will be a teacher planning day. All employees will receive specific guidance from your department leaders about expectations for work during the closure.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community remain our top priority. We will provide updates and additional information related to COVID-19 as it becomes available. Please check your email daily and refer to our COVID-19 reference page for updated information.”
"In accordance with Governor Kemp’s guidance and to best prioritize student and staff safety, effective Tuesday, March 17th, Camden County Schools will be closed until further notice. Parents will be able to pick up any student medications from the schools on Tuesday. Distance learning will commence on Wednesday, March 18th and all schools and school buildings will remain closed as of March 18th until further notice.
"The school closures include all school building activities, athletics/sports, extracurricular school activities, and trips.
"While our school buildings will be closed, the education process will not stop. All staff will work remotely to best support students, including delivering digital and physical instructional resources to students while they are at home. Details about remote learning and answers to your questions will be available early this week on the Camden County Schools website.
"To read the full release from Camden County Schools regarding closures, please click here.
“The CCS COVID-19 webpage can be found here.”
All Pierce County Schools will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. At that point in time, the district said it will assess and update the school community as to further school closure recommendations from our health officials. Spring Break remains the week of April 6 through April 10.
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Ware County Schools Superintendent released a message, saying in part: “All Ware County Schools will be in session Monday, March 16th. We will close Tuesday, March 17th and remain closed through Spring Break, which ends Friday, April 10th. We understand the impact of this decision on our community and have chosen this option to provide our families time to prepare for the extended closure. I will meet with Board Members on April 9th to reassess the situation and determine whether or not we will reopen on April 13th based on the information we have at that time.”
The Charlton County Board of Education announced Sunday district schools will close from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. The board will evaluate the continued closing of schools on a weekly basis. The closure includes school activities, practices and rehearsals.
Click here for school closure updates, information on meal service plans and online/distance learning resources.
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