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UPDATE: After 10-Hour Meeting, Orange School Board Delays Decision On Coming Academic Year


Orange County Public School Board members will meet again Friday on what to do about the coming school year.   

They adjourned late Tuesday night without making any decision, concluding a difficult nearly 10-hour meeting.  

The board members heard hours of public testimony from teachers and parents who overwhelmingly opposed reopening brick-and-mortar schools as the coronavirus surges. 

Among them was Ashley Modesto, a math teacher. She was fearful. 

“We are ready to go digital. We are ready to stay home and do whatever it takes to avoid a loss in academic gains rather than a loss in life.” 

Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs noted the board is bound by a state executive order requiring the schools to reopen, even as she and other board members voiced strong concerns. 

“This board can also take a strong position that we are on record that we do not support the face-to-face, not where we are today with the numbers and not given the way it is laid out by the state because it does not comply with the CDC recommendations for social distancing.” 

Also before the board is a virtual option called LaunchEd@home, which would combine face-to-face and distance learning according to parents’ preferences. 

The board members discussed, too, pushing back the start date from Aug. 10 to possibly as late as Aug. 31. 

The board will meeting again Friday at 9 a.m. The district is the fourth-largest in Florida, serving some 215,000 students.


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Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »

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