Families asked to ’be patient’ as Seminole County schools prep for Monday start

Superintendent says safety measures are in place, supplies distributed to schools

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Schools across Seminole County had full parking lots and school buses on campus Friday as teachers and staff prepare for schools to reopen Monday.

Outside Pine Crest Elementary School in Sanford, families lined up to pick up laptops and materials for their kids who opted for the online or hybrid options.

"My son is a recovering cancer patient so we are scared. But we're happy we have Seminole connect because both my kids will be doing it," said Lissette Abellino.

Abellino has two children: one going into fourth grade, the other starting kindergarten. She said socialization is a concern for her young family, but so far she's confident her kids will get the interaction they need with teachers and other students.

“We’ve met our teacher three times online already ... I’m excited and it looks like they have a better system this year than what they had in March,” said Abellino, referencing when all Florida schools went to online learning due to COVID-19.

Seminole County Superintendent Walt Griffin said about 44% of students will be back in the classroom Monday. The district is still working on schedules, but says safety measures are in place including social distancing markers, desk shields and increased cleaning.

"We've ordered misters for each school. That will give our hard working custodial staff the opportunity to go through the buildings each evening and mist every classroom," said Griffin.

Griffin also wants to remind parents that students and teachers are required to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be met inside school buildings.

“Be patient the first couple of days. We’ll have some technology issues on Monday, schedules will have issues, but that’s not unusual for the start of school,” said Griffin.

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