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Orange County Public Schools Prepares to Welcome 18,000 Students Back to Face-to-Face Instruction After Winter Break

Photo: Austin Pacheco

Most of these students were learning virtually since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins says she’s deeply concerned that coronavirus case numbers are growing in the district as schools prepare to welcome an additional 18,000 students back to in-person learning after Winter Break. 

She says safety measures will remain in place after the holiday including face masks, social distancing, and sanitation stations. 

But she says it’s crucial that families and staff don’t come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms. 

“Extremely important that we reiterate as we get ready for the return to school, if you have symptoms, you’ve been exposed, and certainly if you’ve had a positive test, we need you to avoid returning to school both adults and students until clearance has been achieved.”

Jenkins also encouraged families to rethink holiday celebrations this year in order to stop the spread. 

“So we want to encourage everyone in our community, our employees, adults, students, everyone to practice those 3Ws. Wearing your mask. Washing your hands. And watching your distancing as you are in public places. And I can not stress enough, please, please reconsider any large holiday gatherings during our break.”

The district had its highest number of coronavirus cases yet on Monday, reporting some 90 COVID-19 cases.  

If you’d like to listen to this story, click on the clips above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »