LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – For some students and teachers, the first day of the 2021-2022 school year will also mark their first day back in a classroom since the coronavirus pandemic began.
A new school year always brings changes. Add a pandemic into the mix and parents and students are bound to have some questions about what to expect.
To help clear up any confusion ahead of the first day of school, News 6 reached out to each Central Florida school district with some frequently asked questions to help assemble a back-to-school guide for students and parents.
Here’s everything you need to know about heading back to school in Lake County:
When does school start?
The first day of school in Sumter County is Tuesday, Aug. 10.
Does my child need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to school?
COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory for students to return to the classroom. In fact, many students are not eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the virus. Right now, children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
To get the vaccine in Florida, children 12-17 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine consent form. To download a copy of the form, click here. Vaccination locations can be found here.
Wondering if the vaccine is safe for kids? Here’s what a Central Florida pediatrician has to say about COVID-19 vaccinations for minors.
Will masks and/or social distancing be required in the classroom?
According to a spokesperson for the school district, the policy going into the 2021-2022 school year is that masks will be optional; however, as of the latest guidance, the CDC is recommending all students and teachers wear masks in the classroom, regardless of vaccination status.
Will any other coronavirus precautions or restrictions be in place?
According to a spokesperson for the school district, the policy going into the 2021-2022 school year is that students will be distanced when possible.
The spokesperson added that the district will encourage frequent handwashing and sanitation.
“We are also changing out all the air filtration systems districtwide,” the spokesperson said in an email to News 6.
Are there any virtual/hybrid learning options available this semester?
According to district officials, Sumter County is only offering two learning options for the upcoming school year: Traditional in-person face-to-face and Lake County Virtual School. However, the deadline to enroll in Lake County Virtual School has passed, according to the district.
What school supplies do I need to buy for my student?
The district does not supply a universal school supply list. Each individual school offers a supply list on its website.
To find links to your child’s school’s website, click here.
My child will ride the bus. Where should they catch it?
Your student’s bus stop will, of course, depend on where they live. Closer to the official start of the school year, the county will post information on where your child can catch their bus at this link.
Is the school district hiring?
Lake County Schools are looking for teachers in the following subjects: elementary, language arts, math, science and special education.
The district is also hiring:
- Therapeutic Support Assistants
- Bus Drivers and Monitors
- Food Service Assistants
- Teacher Assistants
To find all of the school district’s job postings, click here.
Other helpful information
As we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, plans can change depending on a number of factors. You can always find the latest back-to-school information at ClickOrlando.com/backtoschool.
To find the Lake County Schools’ academic year calendar, click here.
If your question wasn’t answered in this story, click here to visit Lake County Schools’ website.