ORLANDO, Fla. - An order that reopened schools in Florida has an expiration date. If it is not extended, it could force all students back to in-person classes.
The decision about whether to extend that emergency order is up to the state, not the individual school districts. Orange County Public Schools is hoping for guidance soon because if they have to fully transition to in-person learning, that requires a lot of planning, officials said..
The emergency order that offers students both in-person and virtual learning options is set to expire at the end of December. Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said it's already causing anxiety.
"I want to be very clear. Our school board and my administrators certainly believe it’s a good idea to have that provision last throughout the school year. But it is not a local decision," said Dr. Jenkins.
It's up to the state Department of Education. Orange County schools got a glimpse this week of what that kind of transition might look like as 15,000 students switched from LaunchEd to face-to-face learning Tuesday. Some students were assigned different teachers based on enrollment and availability.
"Every year we go through what we call leveling where we have to shift teachers where the students are actually enrolled. This was just on steroids."
Now 42% of Orange County students are face-to-face compared to 33% previously.