Florida school districts discussing virtual teaching strategies amid coronavirus outbreak

There are no coronavirus cases in Lake County right now, but that doesn’t mean the district isn’t prepared.

“I think every school district will be learning from this experience,” Lake County Schools Director of Information and Instructional Technology Duane Meeks said. “I think it is the first time anyone would have tried to do anything like this.”

Lake County introduced Chromebooks a few years ago. They have about 27,000. Nearly all high school students have one.

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The laptop-style Chromebooks are easy to distribute and can be transferred to other students if needed,

 “Let’s say we had a school or two shut down because of an issue,” Weeks said, “We could shift resources there very quickly. The resources are fairly fluid.”

If Lake County Schools are forced to shut down, remote learning programs like Google Classroom and Lake Virtual School will backup classroom teaching.

The school district also has hotspots available for students who don't have internet connection at home.

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At Eustis High School, teachers are already using the Chromebooks to teach remotely.  One of them doing so last week while out for a medical procedure.

“The doctor said, ‘You cannot come to school tomorrow,’” Eustis High School Principal Tracy Clark said. “So, I’m receiving an email from her at 10:30 at night saying, ‘Are you okay with me teaching virtually?’ I was so excited. I was thrilled.”

Overall, the district is just discussing options if the coronavirus started to affect attendance.


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