OCPS schools shut down for extra week following COVID-19 concerns

All Florida schools are closed an additional week beyond spring break under direction from the Florida Department of Education.

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  • | 3:45 p.m. March 15, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Students attending any Orange County public school will not be returning for at least one additional week following spring break.

On Friday, March 13, Orange County Public Schools announced that schools will remain closed one week beyond spring break, which runs March 16 to 20. Students will not return to school until Monday, March 30.

The announcement came following the decision of the Florida Department of Education, as the Centers for Disease Control is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. 

State testing also will be delayed by two weeks, and all extracurricular activities suspended during that time. The closure does not impact facilities and offices, and the spring break extension only impacts schools.

Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins wrote in an email that the closure is an effort to keep students, employees and families safe. It also provides an opportunity for schools to undergo deep cleaning and districts to enhance digital and remote learning plans where needed, she said.

"At this point, we await clarification from the state regarding student make-up day requirements versus waived days," Jenkins wrote. 

Other clarifications Jenkins made include the following:

  • Spring break camps are not suspended.
  • All field trips of any type are suspended until further notice.
  • Efforts to feed children who normally receive free and reduced-price lunches are being arranged.
  • Students and staff returning from international or cruise travel will be expected to self-isolate. Every effort will be made to accommodate remote learning in such cases.
  • Preparations are in place for digital and remote learning for all schools, if needed.

"In the meantime, we encourage you to use some of your spare time for writing, research, math games, Khan Academy and, of course, reading," Jenkins wrote.

For continuous COVID-19 updates and how OCPS is impacted, follow the district on social media or click on the health advisory link on the front page of ocps.net.


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