ORLANDO, Fla. – Students throughout Central Florida are questioning what the future of their school year will look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many students are on spring break now, but will remain home at least for a few more weeks after many school districts have announced extended closures to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Malik Poteat, a third grade student, has spent most of his spring break playing sports and video games, but he’s also learning a whole lot about the coronavirus.
“I’m concerned about if it can spread and if I can get it,” Poteat said.
Wednesday, he was like many students across Orlando who got to hear from former nurse and city commissioner Regina Hill at citywide community centers. Students got to ask her questions and learn how to properly wash their hands and sanitize.
Poteat said he also has concerns about his future at school this year.
“It’s concerning to me because the school might be closed for the whole year, and we might not come back,” Poteat said.
He's like many students anxiously waiting to find out if the rest of his school year could be partially or even fully online. He told News 6 he hasn't gotten proper guidance from his school on how possible distance learning would work.
He said he’s concerned, but in general would prefer to learn in the classroom with a teacher.
Kerry Blackshear, who runs the Northwest Neighborhood center in Orlando, has been working to ease fears for many of the students at his community center.
“We try to educate them and tell them that it’s something we can get through, but everyone has a part in it,” Blackshear said.
The city of Orlando confirmed it is closing all community centers Friday until further notice.