ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County School Board on Tuesday discussed the reopening plan for schools during an 11-hour work session as coronavirus concerns linger in Florida.
The plan offers three models of learning, and the school board will vote whether to move forward with all the options as early as next week.
The three-pronged plan includes face-to-face instruction, virtual schooling and innovative learning.
According to Orange County Public Schools, here’s an overview for each learning style.
Face-to-face – On campus, regular schedule, five days a week to follow CDC guidance:
- Staff and students over age 3 wear face coverings
- Scheduled handwashing or sanitizing regularly and upon arrival and departure
- Daily temperatures checks prior to entry for staff and students
- Social distancing when feasible
Virtual – Families who do not want children to return on-site would have the option of enrolling full-time in Orange County Virtual School, a fully accredited OCPS school. This provides location, time and pace flexibility. Family commits for one semester at a time.
Innovative Learning – OCPS LaunchEd@Home provides livestream for each lesson, following a traditional bell schedule. This option provides location flexibility, while also offering continuity of student experience and campus connections, as well as wrap-around support services. Teachers will use Swivl technology so students online receive the same instruction as those in the classroom. Family commits for one semester and students will transition back to school, when possible.
During Tuesday’s marathon session, the school board also heard recommended protocols and concerns related to classroom set up, school clinics, cleaning and disinfecting protocols and transportation services, including:
- Maximize distance where feasible (3-6 feet recommended)
- Hygiene separation partitions between student work spaces
- Two school clinics (well room and sick room)
- Prioritize cleaning frequently used areas with EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19
- Bus riders will socially distance at bus stops and utilize face coverings
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, district and county health officials will initiate response procedures that include:
- Communicate with staff, parents and students
- Clean and disinfect thoroughly
- Establish contact tracing
- Make decisions about school’s dismissal (switch to LaunchEd during quarantine, if necessary)
- Activate Instructional Continuity Plan
Based on guidance, recommendations and investigative findings, the district procedures outlined can change or be altered at any time.
Dr. Raul Piño, Health Officer Florida Department of Health, said when the board reopens, it needs to have different operating procedures than it had in place before schools closed in March. His recommendations include:
- Hand sanitizer stations
- Hand washing
- Wearing masks
- Social distancing
- One-way hallways
- Keep same groups of students together throughout the day
Here is the Reopening of Schools presentation.