VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A picture circulating online shows dozens of students crowded into Spruce Creek High School’s atrium in a gathering the district says lasted only a few minutes.
Volusia County Schools director of community information Kelly Schulz said the picture was taken at the Port Orange school Monday, the first day of the fall semester for the district, as students were waiting to receive their schedules.
According to Schulz, staff members saw the large gathering and dispersed the crowd within a few minutes.
“Many strategies are in place to prevent large gatherings and to provide the ability to socially distance in classrooms and hallways. We’ve added additional lunch periods so that fewer students are at lunch at one time. Hallways are monitored for distancing and many schools have one-way traffic to allow students to remain apart as they transition during class periods. We have a mandatory face-covering policy when social distancing is not possible, which includes times such as class transitions, arrival and departure,” Schulz wrote in an email.
Schulz added that with classrooms reopened for the first time since March, when they were closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, the district plans to “double down” on its planning to ensure that there are no large gatherings and that students and staff social distance on campus.
“We understand we must all do our part to protect our students and staff, and we are committed to strictly following our important health and safety guidelines,” Schulz said.
According to a release from the district, 61.38% of student chose to return to campus while 24.14% chose Volusia Live and 14.48% selected the Enhanced Volusia Online Learning option.