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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 3 months ago

DeSantis: Schools to remain open, online learning an option for spring

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that schools would remain open with an online-learning option for the spring 2021 semester.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

Online education will remain a viable learning modality for the second half of the 2020-21 school year. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced in a news conference Monday, Nov. 30, that schools will remain open through the spring along with the online-learning option.

DeSantis acknowledged during the news conference that COVID cases have been going up again within the state, but said other places are much worse with the virus spreading faster. He added that closing schools for COVID-19 this past spring was a mistake.

"In March we may not have had all the information, but in hindsight, knowing what we know now, the closure of schools was one of the biggest public health mistakes in modern American history," DeSantis said.

While online learning remains and option, state officials also announced new rules that will require schools to alert parents if their online student is failing. These students will be required to return to brick-and-mortar schools if their grades do not improve.

Corcoran said schools will continue to receive funding both for virtual and in-person learning.

"We appreciate Gov. DeSantis' and Commissioner Corcoran's affirmation that we can offer parents the choice of [email protected] or face-to-face learning for the second semester without a financial penalty to the district," Orange County Public Schools officials said. "We will continue to work closely with students who are struggling in [email protected] who might need to return to face-to-face instruction. We are also pleased that current-year funding cuts due to enrollment shortfalls have been minimized and can be supplemented with CARES Act dollars. We will thoroughly review the commissioner's new emergency order to further clarify direction."

To view the order, click here.

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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