Students return to classroom for summer school amid coronavirus pandemic

Orange, Marion counties offer programs for kids

ORLANDO, Fla. – The first day of summer school is in the books for several counties, including Orange and Marion.

In Orange County, things were quiet, compared to a normal school day, as a smaller group of students began summer school.

As part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds under the CARES Act, Orange County Public Schools offered a voluntary two-week summer program to help students at the elementary level who struggled through distance learning.

Tuan Nguin said his third-grader needed the time back at school.

“It’s been a long time. It’s different to be home and not in contact with kids. I figured it’d be better for him to have kids and teachers to communicate with,” Nguin said.

The district said all students and staff went through temperature checks before entering the school. All students and staff are required to wear face coverings in class, and lunches were served in the classrooms to avoid large group gatherings.

Nguin said the new guidelines give him peace of mind.

“Everyone was wearing a mask. I feel safe for my son to go here,” he said.

In Marion County, students started their three-week summer learning program.

The school district shared photos showing students and teachers wearing masks. In one photo, you can see desks are spaced out and class sizes are noticeably smaller. The school district also provides materials for the students so they don’t have to share. 

Summer school.

Last week, News 6 spoke with a Marion County teacher who said the summer program is a great way for parents, teachers and staff to get used to the new safety guidelines that are being implemented ahead of the upcoming school year. 

“Not only will they be catching up on academics over the summer term, but they’re also going to be getting back into a schedule and having a relationship with their peers and teachers,” Brandi Anderson said.

Orange County and Marion County school districts said there won’t be an accurate count of how many students showed up to class until Monday evening.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.