Duval Releases Updated Back-To-School Plan

Jul 15, 2020
Originally published on July 14, 2020 5:05 pm

Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) announced Tuesday a revised back-to-school plan that takes into account what the district is calling the “fluid conditions” caused by COVID-19 as well as new state requirements.

Following the Florida Department of Education’s executive order on July 6, the DCPS plan now includes a Duval Homeroom virtual learning option for all grade levels, which allows students to remain enrolled at their schools while taking courses from home.

At-school learning for all grade levels would also be offered five days a week beginning Aug. 10 for elementary school students and after Labor Day, which is Tuesday, Sept. 8, for secondary school students.

"Our goal is to provide children with the best educational experience possible with an enrollment option that fits your family's needs while taking steps to slow the transmission of COVID-19,” said Superintendent Diana Greene in an email to WJCT News. “With courage, flexibility, and understanding, Team Duval will get through this pandemic together.” 

Here are some portions of the plan that the district is highlighting:

All students have choices about how they return

These choices include in-school options, distance learning through Duval HomeRoom and fully virtual learning through the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy.

Elementary students have a full-week, in-school option beginning Aug. 10

The district says it has better capabilities to maintain social distance and isolate classrooms of students in elementary schools, and many elementary school students cannot stay home alone if parents need to go to work.

Middle and high in-school option: Hybrid starting Aug. 10, in school after Labor Day

All middle and high schoolers who opt for in-school education will begin school on a "hybrid" schedule. During the week, students will be at school on some days and at home learning online the other days. The district, working with the Department of Health, will seek to return middle and high school students to a five day a week, in-school schedule following Labor Day.  

Students in all grade levels have the option for Duval HomeRoom

Duval HomeRoom means a student remains enrolled in his or her school and has online access to similar classes that would normally be taken at school. This option is now available for middle and high school students, as well as elementary students. The electives available at the secondary level may be limited. Parents must register for Duval HomeRoom in FOCUS by July 24

Face coverings will be required on the bus and in school

All staff and students are required to wear face coverings throughout the day. Pre-K through second grade students will be issued a clear plastic face shield, which may be used in addition to or instead of a cloth face covering. Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a face covering may also use a clear plastic shield or another reasonable accommodation. Face coverings will not be required in P.E., recess, band, music and other classes in which the facial covering is an obvious impediment to learning activities. 

Additional details about Duval County’s revised return to school plan are available on the district’s website.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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