Local schools delay opening to August 24

Download the Seminole County Schools’ App at seminole.k12.ga.us

 

With the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases exploding in Seminole County over the past ten days Seminole County School officials have postponed the first day of school for in-person instruction and distance learning until Monday, August 24.

Open House events for all schools, originally scheduled for August 6 have also been postponed. New dates and times for open house events will be announced when they become available at donalsonvillenews.com. The latest school news and announcements can also be accessed through the school system’s new app. Download it from the Seminole County Board of Education website – seminole.k12.ga.us

Seminole County School Superintendent Mark Earnest commented, “With the recent rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases locally we are not ready to have full in-person contact consisting of hundreds of students and teachers with the expectation that no one spreads  or contracts COVID-19. Also, Seminole County has had a spike in the number of cases this past weekend.

So as long as COVID-19 runs rampant, there will be too many bodies in close quarters for us to co-exist in a traditional school setting. We are not ready to return to in-person schooling and be highly confident that we can protect employees and students.”

Earnest also expressed, “Social distancing, wearing face coverings, sheltering in place, and practicing good hygiene can help control this problem, but many of our human egos are convinced that we can ignore these rules and win the battle against this virus.

Until a vaccine is developed and we collectively humble ourselves by following the rules for stopping COVID-19, we will be stuck in a vicious cycle of being chased and hunted by an invisible foe.

We are ready to teach virtually, and our teachers are getting better with that every day. When schools are able to reopen in person with students, we will be even better teachers because of the virtual experience.”

As of today, on August 24 the Seminole County School System will be offering both the traditional model of instruction as well as a Full-Time Distance Learning program to registered students in grades K-12. During the month of July, Seminole County families submitted interest applications, in which they declared whether not they were interested in participating in the Full-Time Distance Learning program. After a two week period of advertising the program through various modes, such as the newspaper, social media platforms, email, phone calls and the Seminole County School System website, approximately 22% of Seminole County families expressed interest in the program. 

Concluding the interest application window, additional information was shared with families that expressed interest in the program. As part of the registration process, all families were required to complete an orientation, which was offered both virtually and onsite.  The orientation process was a requirement, as the Seminole County School System felt that it was essential to educate families on the rigorous requirements of the Full-Time Distance Learning program, prior to them enrolling their student(s). After participating in the orientation process only 12% of Seminole County students registered for the Full-Time Distance Learning program. During the Fall, 88% of Seminole County School System students will attend school for face-to-face, traditional instruction. 

For students participating in the Full-Time Distance Learning program, learning will take place Monday-Friday following a daily class schedule, with required minimum instructional minutes and attendance expectations. The program involves teacher-prepared lessons as well as assigned online and offline coursework in Accelerate Education (K-5) and Edgenuity Courseware (6-12). By logging in to Clever, Seminole County’s new student portal offering families a one-stop shop for all digital resources, students can access Accelerate Education and Edgenuity. Quality online instruction will align with grade-level standards. The expectations and rigor of the Full-Time Distance Learning program will mirror in-person instruction. While daily support will be provided by certified Seminole County teachers, there will be a significant commitment from families to help facilitate distance learning in order for students to maintain success in the virtual environment. 

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