Everything you need to know about Lake County’s back-to-school plan

New school start date, learning options listed below

Generic photo of a school classroom
Generic photo of a school classroom (Pixlr)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – As Florida continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, Lake County school leaders are working to welcome students back for the 2020-2021 academic year with adjusted learning options.

Lake County Public Schools has been working on details to reopen for in-person learning after the Florida Department of Education issued an executive order telling schools to physically reopen come August.

Here’s what you need to know about the district’s back to school plan:

Start date: August 24

The Lake County School Board recently voted to push back the start date from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24.

Click here to see how the school calendar may have changed with the new school start date.

Learning Options

Lake County Schools Reopening Plan

The district has provided four options from which parents can choose:

1. Traditional: Traditional face to face, in-school learning aligned to state standards and Lake County Curriculum Blueprints. All courses currently offered at each school are available.

2. Lake County Virtual School: Flexible daily virtual learning schedule with teachers available throughout the day including evening hours. Includes 2-3 teacher live lessons weekly. Electives are available.  Students have the option to return to traditional,  in-school learning after each 9-week grading period. 

3. Modified Day: Traditional in-school learning for English Language Arts and Math, with other courses taken virtually through Lake County Virtual School. This flexible schedule allows students when possible to participate in electives at their home school. The option to return to traditional, in-school learning after each 9-week grading period will be available. 

4. Lake Live: Structured virtual learning that mirrors the traditional daily school schedule.  Students stay enrolled in their home school and are taught by teachers from their enrolled school when possible based upon enrollment and teacher availability.  Elementary schedules will include P.E. Middle and high school elective courses and those attached to specialized programs will be available when possible. The option to return to traditional, in-school learning after each 9-week grading period will be available.

Learning Option Deadline: July 29

Parents in Lake County have until Friday, July 24, to indicate how they would prefer their children to learn when schools reopen in August amid the coronavirus pandemic. Parents are being asked to go to the district’s website and choose the option they prefer.

School officials said the selection of an option does not lock a parent into a decision but will provide the district with information.

Enhanced coronavirus-related health and safety measures

If parents opt for any in-person learning options, students will have to follow increased health and safety protocols to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Below are points taken directly from Lake County School’s reopening plan:

  • Safe social distancing (6 feet) will be expected in classrooms as well as all other areas of the school campus including hallways, gyms, cafeteria, etc. when possible
  • When social distancing is not possible due to space or by nature of the program/course and or instructional setting, the district is still considering whether face coverings will be mandatory or strongly recommended for students and employees
  • Face coverings will be provided to employees upon request
  • Face shields will be provided to employees upon request
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water will be readily available to employees, students and visitors.
  • Cleaning protocols will be increased throughout each campus, including replacing air filters more frequently
  • Group gatherings will be limited
  • Gloves will be provided to employees upon request. Those requesting gloves will be educated on the importance of properly washing hands between each glove use.
  • Temperature checks will be conducted on any student or employee who exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms on any school or district workplace
  • Any student who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms after having arrived at school will be isolated and required to wear a face mask. Parents will be expected to pick-up their child immediately upon notification
  • For the first quarter of the school year, parents and visitors will have limited access to the school campus including parents walking students to their child’s classroom, volunteering and mentoring.
  • Plexiglass shields will be installed in all front offices to separate front office staff from guests
  • Schools will be encouraged to schedule all meetings and gatherings virtually when feasible.
  • All equipment and instruments will be washed or wiped down after each use
  • Medically vulnerable students and employees should consult with their healthcare provider before returning to school or work
  • Utilize outdoor or larger than normal venues (auditoriums, gymnasiums, large meeting rooms, pavilions) for activities that increase the possibility of transfer of airborne particles i.e. Lunch, Chorus, Band, Physical Ed, ROTC, etc. when feasible

Click here to read LCPS’ entire reopening plan.