LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – For nearly two hours, parents had their questions answered in a last-minute virtual school question-and-answer session ahead of Lake County Schools’ first day set for Monday.
Lake County -- along with Osceola County, Flagler County, Brevard County, Sumter County and Marion County -- is set to resume school next week.
Guidance counselor Stacie Clark led the discussion after saying that district leaders needed to call in employees from other districts just to address the influx in questions they have received.
“I am averaging 300-400 emails a day, and my voicemail is getting 200-300 a day,” Clark said. “We don’t want parents to panic.”
Clark spoke on the Lake County Virtual School Facebook page.
“We are not going to have here on Monday morning and your student hasn’t logged in and we’re counting them absent,” she said. “Our attendance is based on the assignments due each week. We are giving flexibility these first two weeks.”
Virtual school is one of four options available to students in the county. The district has provided four options from which parents can choose:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
To accommodate students learning at home, school leaders said 4,000 Chromebooks were delivered to schools this past week and another 5,400 are expected over the next week and a half.
It’s all part of a plan for every student in a Lake County school to receive a device during the first quarter of the school year.
In a statement last month, Lake County School leaders said nearly half of their students plan to return to in class learning:
“Of the 39,331 responses counted the afternoon of Thursday, July 30, about 42 percent or 16,708 said they want their children to return to brick-and-mortar school buildings for traditional, face-to-face, full-time instruction.
“About 26 percent, or 10,108, chose the Lake Live option, which provides structural 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.
“About 24 percent, or 9,584, said they will enroll full-time in Lake County Virtual School, which offers flexible daily virtual learning with teachers available through the day and during evening hours. Instruction includes two to three teacher-led live lessons weekly.
“The smallest group -- about 7 percent, or 2,878 -- chose the Modified Day option, which offers students traditional in-school learning for English Language Arts and Math while allowing them to take other courses virtually through Lake County Virtual School.”