Do what’s best in your heart: SJC parents and students weigh in on back to school

Do what's best in your heart: SJC parents and students weigh in on back to school

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla — As students in St Johns County prepare for school Monday morning, parent Ashley Southern is masking up her daughter for her first day of kindergarten.

“Do what’s best in your heart. Don’t care what the world says. I think we’ll be all right,” Southern said.

Instead of learning in person at Liberty Pines Academy, students like Abraham Alonzo will be learning from home to keep his family safe.

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“I’m going to the eighth grade, and I’m going virtual. Yeah it’ll be something different but I’m going to miss my friends and lunch, PE and stuff,” Alonzo explained.

Families had three different options to choose from: brick and mortar; distanced learning online; and St. Johns virtual school, which is a semester commitment.

In St. Johns County, 75% of students will learn in person and 25% of them will take part in distance learning starting Monday.

“Just stay safe,” Alonzo said.

Some parents said they’re confident in the school’s safety plan.

“We had several Zoom meetings with the principal and staff and we’ve had virtual interactions with the teachers, so everything has been pretty good,” said Southern.

Duval County is still missing more than 5,000 students for in-person and virtual learning.

St. Johns Superintendent Tim Forson said they will also have to re-engage families.

The superintendent said there will be a nurse at every school in the county and that will make responding to reported positive cases of the coronavirus a lot easier.