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‘The new normal is be flexible:’ School board member says after campus closes due to COVID-19 cases

922 students who opted for face-to-face learning will switch to virtual learning for two weeks

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County School District confirmed 10 positive cases of COVID-19 and at least two pending cases have made West Orange High School officials switch to virtual learning for two weeks.

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On Friday, School board member Pamela Gould said this is a challenging time for the entire district.

“This is not an easy situation, this is very tough on parents, very tough on teachers, and it’s very tough on our students,” Gould said.

The district said 922 students who opted for face to face learning to shift to LaunchED starting Monday, Sept. 21 and ending Oct. 2. The announcement came as the district works to update its COVID-19 dashboard to reflect ongoing cases and add a quarantine feature.

“The new normal is be flexible, change and try to be patient,” Gould said.

OCPS said the district the Florida Department of Health has identified 159 students and staff as having direct exposure with the 10 who tested positive.

Eric Schwalbach is a West Orange parent with a son who plays on the football team. He said his son was enrolled in LaunchEd while some of his teammates opted to be part of a cohort group mandated by the district to keep them apart from the student body.

“My son has already been launchED, our football team has already been through this inconvenience so we already had to make the adjustment,” Schwalbach said.

The West Orange football team has already dealt with a setback after five members on Evans High school football team tested positive for COVID-19 and resulted in the cancellation of the Thursday nights game.

“Football players, 100% should be able to play there is no doubt about it,” Schwalbach said.

Board member Gould agreed.

“We’re consulting with the health department to see if they can play next weekend, hopefully, fingers crossed they are in the all-clear,” she said.


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