MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Marion County Public Schools will designate a home school liaison to each school. It’s only a week into the school year and the liaisons who are already working said they are busy at work with hundreds of students at home either positive with COVID-19 or quarantined.
”I’ve been here five or six days so far this year and I’ve been in touch with dozens of parents and all of the teachers trying to link them together,” home school liaison Bruce Denerstein said. “The teachers have so much to do, sometimes they can’t reach out to the families. I am the link when the students aren’t here.”
Denerstein is the home school liaison for Osceola Middle School in Ocala. It’s a new position put in place to help bridge the gap between students and their teachers. Especially now, with hundreds of students out of school due to COVID-19.
“I work with teachers to put the work together for their students who are home. Some of the work is online, others I drive out to their home,” Denerstein said.
It’s a position Teresa Mitchell said is necessary. Her 12-year-old grandson who she raises was sent home to quarantine the second day of school.
“It’s been really rough,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell hopes she isn’t put in the same situation she was last year when all three of her grandkids were out of school for two weeks.
“They all three had COVID and the communication was not there. Trying to get teachers to respond with homework assignments. Some of the stuff they missed were tests,” Mitchell said.
According to the district, the liaisons are paid for through Title I funding and federal emergency education funds. The district also plans to keep those home school liaisons on staff even after the pandemic slows down, to help keep their students on track.