Orange County School Board discusses response to federal lawsuit over mask mandates
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Five of eight school boards named in a federal lawsuit along with Orange and Volusia counties over school mask mandates have now enacted stronger policies. On Tuesday, the issue should be raised again at the Orange County School Board meeting. The Orange County School Board wants to figure out how to respond to the federal lawsuit, in which it doesn’t feel it belongs. This is a frustrating position for members of the Orange County School Board, stuck under the thumb of the state’s rule against mask mandates. At a recent school board work session, OCPS board member spoke openly about feeling undermined by the state and their shared frustration for parents of immunocompromised kids.wftv.com
Orange County Public Schools offering free meals to all students for 2021-22 school year
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thanks to a waiver through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Orange County schools will be able to provide three meals a day for all students this year at no charge. The USDA’s Food Nutrition Service has been working to help provide kids with healthy meals throughout the coronavirus pandemic, establishing waivers to improve access. READ: Orange County officials suspend all youth sports as COVID-19 cases surgeThrough that waiver, OCPS announced Monday they’ll be able to provide meals for all students, including breakfast, lunch, and supper, for all students for the 2021-22 school year. !#mealsatnocharge #ocps_fns pic.twitter.com/Jxnd1mqvRS — OCPS Food & Nutrition (@OCPS_FNS) August 9, 2021“This support for parents and children from USDA will certainly come in handy for anyone who has had their income interrupted or changed,” said Lora Gilbert, OCPS Director of Food and Nutrition Services. For more information on the USDA’s Child Nutrition Waivers, click here.wftv.com
One on one with new UCF football coach Gus Malzahn
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Gus Malzahn era is underway at UCF. Malzahn was hired as the 9th football coach in program history on Feb. 15. [TRENDING: SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites | Weekend vaccine events for OCPS employees | Family speaks after deadly shooting]The energized veteran head coach has plans to take the Knights to greater heights. Days before UCF opens spring practice, Malzahn sat down with news 6 Sports Director Jamie Seh, outlining his vision and looking back on the past. AdUse the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com 4pm Trending newsletter, sent every weekday.
Orange County schools holding vaccination events for district employees this weekend
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools is partnering with the state to offer district employees COVID-19 vaccines Saturday and Sunday. Dozens of school district employees waited in line to get their shots outside of Ocoee High School Saturday morning. National guardsmen were also seen stationed at Colonial High School. The school district is hosting the walk-up vaccination sites at Colonial High School, East River High School, Freedom High School, Oak Ridge High School, and Ocoee High School. All OCPS employees, regardless of age or job title, are eligible to receive the vaccine at all Florida distribution sites.
‘He is not going to take the test:’ Parents plan to opt-out of in-person state testing
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Many upset Orange County parents say they plan to opt-out of state testing after Superintendent Barbara Jenkins announced all schools will move forward with administering state assessments, including the FSA, and must do so in-person, according to an order from the Florida Department of Education. “My kids aren’t going to school for this,” said Orange County mom Angie Giurtino, who has a 6th grader at Legacy Middle School. “My husband and I are really going to be evaluating do we want to send him on campus to do that.”AdAccording to Orange County School Board Member Angie Gallo, she is anticipating parents opt-ing out. Ron DeSantis extends the spring state testing windows for Florida State Assessments by two weeks to allow for further flexibility for makeups, if needed. AdBy statute, students must pass the Grade 10 ELA state assessment and Algebra 1 EOC state assessment before graduating.
Orange County schools to extend summer school hours due to ‘extensive learning loss’
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools plans to keep all of its campuses open five days a week over the summer “because of extensive learning loss over the past 11 months,” according to an email sent out to district employees. “Our goal is to offer opportunities of full-day, being able to interweave art, music and physical education in order to engage our students,” Vazquez said. Meals will be provided for students attending summer school as well as transportation for students who live “outside our 2-mile radius and or our normal bus riders,” according to the deputy superintendent. The deputy superintendent said the school district will also be offering additional learning opportunities over spring break. “We are offering summer school in the month of June and the month of July, so we are going to offer teachers the opportunity to teach the entire summer, maybe they only want to teach June and have July off,” she said.
Blankner School shifts to online learning after positive COVID-19 results
Students in multiple grade levels at an Orange County school will shift to online learning after school officials say six people tested positive for COVID-19. Orange County Public Schools informed parents at Blankner School that all 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students are pivoting to LaunchED@Home. “At this time, there are a total of six COVID-19 cases, four of which resulted in 54 quarantines in the school,” Orange County Public Schools said in a news release. “During this time the entire campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected,” OCPS added. The school added that if any students are in need of curbside meals, they can be picked up at school Monday, Nov. 9 and brought home.
Many Orange County students shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19 cases
Many Orange County students shift to virtual learning due to COVID-19 casesPublished: October 22, 2020, 9:37 amTimber Creek High School has become the latest Orange County Public School campus to close due to coronavirus cases among students and/or staff, according to the school district.
Orange County schools reports temporary internet outage
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Students learning from home had to sign off after the internet went down at Orange County Public Schools for a few hours on Thursday. An automated call and email went out to parents and guardians around 11 a.m. Thursday informing them of the outage. A message posted to social media said the outage was due to the internet provider. “OCPS is being impacted by a national internet outage by our provider. Families were notified around 1:20 p.m. that internet had been restored to OCPS and was due to a “national outage.”
50 Orange County schools, work sites have now had confirmed cases of COVID-19
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – It’s unclear just how many cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in students and staff at Orange County Public Schools based on the information the school district released Friday evening but 50 schools or worksites have had at least one COVID-19 case in the past two weeks. Earlier in the week, OCPS officials said they planned to release more information about virus cases tied to schools and worksites. Based on the names of schools with cases released by OCPS last week and on Tuesday, some campuses have multiple COVID-19 cases. “Please know we are working closely with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Orange County to address cases as quickly as they arise. Below is a database with information on COVID-19 cases and people in quarantine from nine Central Florida school districts.
Thousands of unregistered Orange County students will not result in layoffs this semester, superintendent says
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Florida school districts, including Orange County, are working to locate students who did not register for online or in-person options this year. Orange County Public School enrollment is down 18,000 students below the 209,000 students projected in July, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said Friday in a video update to OCPS families. I want to encourage parents, guardians, family members who are aware of a change in location of one of our students to reach out to their school,” Jenkins said. School districts receive funding based on the number of students enrolled. The superintendent assured school staff the OCPS is not laying off employees due to the enrollment shortfall this semester.
JV and freshman football for Orange County Schools postponed until winter season
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. The football season for the junior varsity teams and freshman football teams in Orange County has been postponed until the winter season, according to OCPS media relations manager Michael Ollendorff. The winter season starts in JanuarySchool officials said varsity football will resume as normal. Parents of students must sign the annual sports activity participation packet. The packet includes an assumption of the risk and liability relating to coronavirus, according to school leaders. Here is the fall sports schedule in Orange County:Bowling:Tryouts and practice starts on Aug. 31Matches will start on the week of Sept. 14Regular season will be six weeksSeason ends on Oct. 24Cross CountryTryouts and practice starts on Aug. 31Meets will start on the week of Sept. 14Regular season will be six weeksSeason ends on Oct. 24FootballTryouts and practice start on Aug. 31The first game will be the week of Sept. 17Eight regular season games will be playedIf a school elects to take part in the FHSAA State Series all teams qualify for the playoff on Nov. 13GolfTryouts and practice start on Aug. 31Matches begin the week of Sept. 14The regular season will be four weeksSwimming and DivingTryouts and practice start on Aug. 31Meets will begin the week of Sept. 14The regular season will be five weeksVolleyball
Orange County Public Schools holds final workshop before students return to campus
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Before Orange County students head back to school for face-to-face instruction on Friday, district leaders took questions from school board members Thursday evening. Thursday’s workshop session was aimed at clarifying any lingering questions about the district’s plan to safely welcome students back to campus. “I’m a little bit sad because it is a first day of school like no other first day of school. During Orange County’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Alvina Chu said it is unknown whether a return to school will worsen the pandemic. We hope parents teachers and our community will get behind us to keep our children safe,” Jenkins said.
Here is how much money Orange County Schools spent during the pandemic
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. The Orange County Public School district posted a list of how much money was spent during the pandemic. OCPS officials said the period of time goes back to March when the district and state were placed under a stay-at-home order. The district has spent $8,556,861.71:Contracted personnel $338,179.71Custodial supplies $490,042.37Equipment $82,146.59Face Shields/Goggles $2,334.89Gloves $9,912.40Masks $392,931.14Paper products $351,329.82Postage $91,477.03Printing $45,807.96*Medical relief of duty/other pay $6,347,011.87Sanitizer $121,640.94Thermometers $19,701.40Plexiglass $236,384.48Other $27,961.17The data was provided by the districts financial officer.
Heres what to expect on the first day of LaunchEd for Orange County students
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. Thousands of Orange County students will be the first to return to school in Central Florida on Monday during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We've done our best to prepare for students and the load that will come from launched at home," Draggon said. He said with LaunchED, students are on a bell schedule so there will log on at staggered times. Elementary school starts around 8:30 a.m., middle school starts around 9:30 a.m., and high school starts around 7:20 a.m. Middle and high school students set up their own password.
DOE approves reopening plan Osceola County schools and Seminole County schools
The Florida Department of Education has approved the reopening plan for Osceola County Schools and Seminole County Schools. OCPS gave parents three options to enroll their child in:Face-to-face instruction at school with health and safety precautions in placeDigital learning with their assigned school with a traditional school day scheduleVirtual learning for students to allow learning during non-traditional school hoursSchool will open on Aug. 24. Seminole County schools will begin class on Aug. 17. Seminole County parents can pick from four options:Traditional learning and students will follow a regular school day scheduleVirtual School where students will establish their own learning scheduleSeminole Connect is at-home learning during school hoursA hybrid option allows a family to choose from multiple learning options to meet a students needReopening plans from each county has to be sent to the Department of Education by July 31.
District leaders ask for patience as Orange County students transition to distance learning
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County students returned from spring break Monday and began their first day of distance learning, a measure put in place as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread through Central Florida. Chairwoman Theresa Jacobs thanked students, parents and teachers for their patience and continued efforts in transitioning to distance learning. “For our students, we understand that you never planned on spending your spring break social distancing or in isolation,” Jacobs said. Here’s what I want to stress: We need just a little bit of patience around logins and any kind of technology glitches.”Jenkins said students across the state are transitioning to distance learning in coming days, in addition to the 200,000 students in Orange County. Jenkins advised any students or parents with questions about distance learning to visit OCPS.net.
Florida House approves term limits for local school board members
click to enlarge Photo via OCPS/YouTubeThe Orange County School BoardThe Florida House on Thursday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that could lead to term limits for county school board members across the state.If the Senate goes along with the proposal , voters in November would decide whether to impose the eight-year term limits similar to limits approved nearly three decades ago for state lawmakers.Supporters of the proposal point, in part, to the power of incumbency and that term limits could help bring new members to school boards. Term Limits, said in a prepared statement. School board term limits will elevate new voices and ideas to give all students the great education they deserve. Two Senate committees approved the proposal last year.Florida voters in 1992 approved a constitutional amendment that imposed term limits on state House members and senators.In opposing the proposal Thursday, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said turnover caused by term limits has bolstered the power of lobbyists and legislative staff members. He also said term limits have caused a loss of institutional knowledge among lawmakers.But Daniels said she is here because of term limits and that incumbents can create political strongholds.orlandoweekly.com