16,000 Orange County students switch to in-person learning. Here’s what that means for teachers, schools

Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins shares concerns about social distancing

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins on Tuesday night announced the number of students who are switching their learning options for the second nine weeks of school.

Jenkins said 15,792 students are changing from learning virtually to face-to-face and 983 are going from classrooms and switching to LaunchED.

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“We have a lot of our teachers have ADA accommodations, they were advised by their physicians they cannot teach face-to-face because they have medical conditions or family members too so we are very concerned,” OCCTA President Wendy Doromal said.

Jenkins said the drastic change will have an impact on teachers who will have to return to campus to teach.

“Our chief negotiator contacted our union president to let her know those numbers are significant and clearly that means we will have more of our teachers who have been teaching at home will now need to come into brick-and-mortar face-to-face,” Jenkins said.

The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association posted on its Facebook page Tuesday night, asking several teachers to take action.

The superintendent also explained the demand on school buses now that more kids are expected to return to school next month.

“If we have 15,000 students coming back -- usually about a third of our students ride our buses -- so that means we may have an additional 5,000 students riding buses,” Jenkins added.

Jenkins put out a plea to parents, encouraging them to take their children to school if possible in order to allow more social distancing on buses.

“If you’re eligible, I want to encourage you still, if possible, to transport your child on your own because the more we can transport our own children, the more we can socially distance on our buses,” Jenkins said.

“We already heard from teachers, one teacher quit at Colonial High School last week and it was really sad and we are going to see more great teachers leave the profession,” Doromal added.

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