SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – As Florida continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, Flagler County school leaders are working to welcome students back for the 2020-2021 academic year with adjusted learning options.
The district is offering parents three different options to enroll their students this upcoming school year.
Here’s what you need to know about the district’s back to school plan:
Start date: Aug. 24
Though school was originally set to reopen on Aug. 10, the Flagler County School Board voted to delay the start date until Aug. 24, giving teachers and students two extra weeks to adjust to the changes in place for the upcoming semester.
Continue checking here to see when district leaders post an updated version of the 2020-2021 school year calendar.
The district has provided three options for parents to pick from:
1. Traditional: Face coverings will be required for all staff and visitors at school. Masks will also be required for students in 3rd grade and up. Face coverings will be strongly encouraged for students Pre-K through 2nd grade. School officials will encourage social distancing, regular hand washing and will ask anyone to stay home when they are sick.
2. Virtual: The district said the online iFlagler program is designed for students who are self-starters. A high degree of accountability is placed upon the student. Students go at their own pace.
*Note: Students will have the option to return to traditional learning in January
3. Remote: Remote students will receive their classroom instruction remotely five days a week and they are expected to follow the traditional school day schedule. Students can return to traditional school if the remote option does not work for them.
Learning Option Deadline: July 20
Parents who have already selected an option can change their option if they want to.
Parents who want their kids to be remote students can contact their child’s school. Parents who want to enroll the students in the virtual iFlagler program can call 386-446-1520. A parent who does not contact the school on any option by July 20 will be enrolled in the traditional option.
Enhanced coronavirus-related health and safety measures
Before students and teachers arrive at school
Everyone should conduct a health screening and temperature check before going to campus. Anyone not feeling well should not go to the classroom.
The district is working on new procedures for bus pickup and drop off to limit the number of students gathering in one spot.
Face masks will be required when students can’t social distance. Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus and each bus will be disinfected daily.
Hallway traffic will be one way and hand sanitizing stations will be available.
Students will be discouraged from gathering in the hallways and the number of students in the restrooms will be limited.
The restrooms and common touch points will be cleaned throughout the day.
Face coverings will be required when social distancing is not feasible. They will be required for all staff, visitors and for students in third grade and up. The masks will be strongly encouraged for students in grades Pre-K through 2nd grade.
Masks will be provided to students who need one.
A student with a health issue that prevents them from wearing a covering does not have to wear one.
Each school will have designated areas for parent pick-up due to COVID-19 symptoms. Procedures will be put in place to separate symptomatic individuals from standard clinic operations.
Medically vulnerable and students with disabilities
The district said all medically vulnerable students, students who live with medically vulnerable family members and students with disabilities should contact their health care provider and/or family doctor to develop a plan to facilitate safe participation in school.
The district said they will make every effort to maximize the space between students. Hand sanitizer stations will be in the cafeteria.
The food will be served in wrapped packaging and there will be no access to self-service bars.
Pre-packaged utensils and disposable trays will be used. Student IDs will be scanned and schools will attempt to increase outdoor eating areas to help with social distancing.
Gym equipment will be disinfected after each use and hand sanitizer will be available in the gym, locker rooms and fine arts areas. Non-contact sports will be utilized in physical education classes. The fine arts room will be arranged to maximize physical distancing.
Recess will be designed to minimize physical contact between students. Athletes will have a temperature check before each practice and event. Locker rooms will be sanitized after each practice.
The district said each classroom will be spaced out as much as possible. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms. Classrooms will be disinfected daily.
What if a student tests positive?
Students or teachers who test positive for COVID-19 will not return to school until cleared by a physician with a doctor’s note reflecting day of return.
Contact tracing will be conducted by the health department.
A decision will be made on which individuals will need to self-isolate and for how many days. Students who are sent home to quarantine will be provided a plan for learning while under quarantine.
Flagler County Schools announced the district’s start date for fall sports for Flagler-Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School.
The district said the goal is to start fall sports practice on Sept. 5.
School officials said the current conditioning programs will remain in place.
Students return to class for in-person instruction on Aug. 24.
“I recognize the importance of athletics to many of our students and our community. But we need to ensure we are doing all we can do to provide a safe environment for all our students and staff, including our athletic programs,” Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt said.
Fall sports in the district include:
- Cross Country