Failing Volusia Live students told to improve grades or return to in-person classes

Innovative model ends Jan. 22 for all students

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of students who are enrolled in Volusia Live, the real time live streaming class, are struggling to keep their grades up and the Volusia County School District said it’s taking action before it’s too late.

"We’re talking about two thirds of the students at the high school and middle school levels had at least one course where they received a D or an F,” School Board Chair Carl Persis said.

Bad grades coupled with teachers struggling to juggle both online and in-class learning sparked the school district’s decision to notify parents that they have two options moving forward.

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“Either something has to change at home so that your child does perform better or if you don’t see that happening, then we suggest you get your child back to school as soon as possible,” Persis said.

If the student’s grade does not improve, the school district said it wants children back in class by Nov. 2.

Elizabeth Albert, president of Volusia United Educators, doesn’t believe students should be forced to return to school during a pandemic. She said it’s already difficult for teachers to maintain social distancing in classrooms and it’ll put everyone’s health at risk.

“There are serious consequences with packing kids in classrooms,” Albert said. “They are very fearful of what these confined spaces with students literally in some cases, inches apart, will the consequences be.”

But, Persis said not every failing student is required to go back to class and staff will work with families who have health concerns. He also said the school district will work to find more room for teachers.

“If we do in fact have more children entering now, then we’ll need to once again add more staff. In some cases, add more classrooms,” he said.

Persis said the immediate focus is to get students back on the right track.

“We’ll do everything possible to help that family and most importantly, help that child to be successful in school,” he said.

The Volusia County School District said the innovative model Volusia Online will end on Jan. 22. Students will then have the option of face-to-face learning or Enhanced Volusia Online Learning.

Here is the breakdown of how many students are currently doing one of the three options:

Face to face: 36,885

Volusia Live: 16,062

Volusia Online: 7,667

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