Orange County school district discusses COVID-19 safety plans for spring semester

Officials urge students who have trouble learning to return to classroom

ORANGE COUTY, Fla. – With the second semester beginning on Jan. 5, Orange County Public School officials are planning ahead as they expect more students to return to the classrooms for face to face learning despite the rise in cases.

“Certainly, a bit of a spike in cases, where they had to call in while we were shut down for the holidays, of course we are still monitoring those numbers, and we may see some additional cases the next week or two,” Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said.

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Orange County has become the latest school district in Central Florida to ask parents to make their choice on how students will learn after the holidays.

The district is encouraging students struggling with online learning to possibly return to school next month.

“We suspect after the semester break that we will get more students. We’re just not convinced it will be all those who are struggling,” Jenkins explained.

The medical advisory committee also discussed on they plan to improve the district’s data dashboard which shows confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools and active quarantines by day.

“The number of kids tested - will affect the rate and that’s what is really important and in order to cancel that factor out you use the percent positive testing rate, not the number of kids positive over the number of kids in schools,” Dr. Michael Muszynski said.

The Medical Advisory Committee members are expected to meet December 17th before the Holiday break.

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