Osceola County board meets ahead of schools reopening

Semester set to begin Aug. 24

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – School officials in Osceola County held a school board meeting on Tuesday evening.

No action was taken.

The district has received feedback from more than 40,000 parents.

The district is still waiting for feedback from 10,000 parents.

One parent at the meeting said opening schools is disgraceful.

“You should all be ashamed of yourselves, and you’re all clowns. And I’m calling for every single one of you to resign,” the parent said.

One teacher brought up the potential of hazard pay.

“Do you realize that Wal-Mart Chick-fil-A, everybody loves Chick-fil-A, Target, Starbucks, are paying people hazard pay because they’re essential workers. You guys tell us we’re the most essential workers there are, but there’s no hazard pay for face-to-face,” the teacher said.

Earlier this month, school board members approved a plan to reopen schools on Aug. 24 instead of their original date, Aug. 10.

Chairman Kelvin Soto explained that decision was made following the number of cases of COVID-19 in the state.

[READ: Everything you need to know about Osceola County’s back-to-school plan | Parents react to Osceola County’s school-reopening plan]

"Here locally in Florida, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of infections and the number of positive cases that are coming from testing, and that is caused us to re-examine," Soto explained.

The district’s reopening plan was submitted and approved by the Florida Department of Education, which gave parents three choices to enroll their child in.

“It was approved by the secretary of education. Not only was it approved, but they see it as a model plan and commended us on the plan that we put forward,” he said.

“We asked parents to make a decision as to how they want the education of their students to continue in 2020-2021, whether they want their child to come to school, whether they want a digital learning environment, or whether they wanted to do Osceola virtual school, which they learn at their own pace,” Soto said.

About the Authors:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!