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UPDATE: How Will Schools Reopen As Coronavirus Case Numbers Surge? OCPS Is Working On That

Orange County Public School Board members are considering three options as they deliberate over how to reopen schools next month for the coming academic year. 

Under the first option school would take place five days a week on campus. Face masks and daily temperature checks would be required, as would social distancing when feasible. 

As a second option families could enroll students in the Orange County Virtual School, which is fully accredited. 

The third option would involve a live stream of lessons, following a traditional bell schedule. Students would receive the same instruction as they would in the classroom.

Orange County School Board members considered an array of concerns Tuesday as they met for 11 hours on how to reopen schools as the number of coronavirus cases in Florida surges.

The school board members discussed how to ensure children wear masks and wash hands to what to do should a child test positive for the virus. 

Some board members asked Raul Pino of the state health department in Orange County whether now is the right time to reopen schools. 

“If the question is, Is it safe to open the schools as we were operating before you closed? No,” Pino said. “Procedures and guidance has to change. The schools, if you guys decide to open it, they have to open in a different environment.” 

State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, in an executive order, is calling on “brick and mortar” schools to reopen five days a week and offer the full slate of services for all students.  

Orange County School Board members are scheduled to take a vote next Tuesday. The district is the fourth-largest in Florida, serving some 215,000 students.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

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 »