Orange County school district presents plans for fall

For the first time, Central Florida families are getting a glimpse of what "back-to-school" could look like for Orange County students.  

Administrators met with the school board for a reopening workshop Tuesday, laying out three tracks for the fall.

“Our utmost commitment is to the safety and well-being of our employees, of our children, of our community,” said OCPS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins.

 A new option is called OCPSLaunchED@Home. District officials say this would be full-time school that’s live-streamed. A camera set up in the classroom would follow the teacher so kids at home would feel like they were there. This idea needs to be approved by the state.

Administrators say the Orange County Virtual School is also available for parents and guardians who want to keep their kids at home.

Then there’s face-to-face instruction.

“As we all learned yesterday, the reopening guidelines were shifted yesterday under the commissioner’s emergency order,” Jenkins explained.

The Florida Department of Education is ordering districts reopen all brick and mortar schools five days a week and offer full services starting in August.

Orange County officials say they would require masks when social distancing isn’t possible and move desks further apart. They’re also looking into adding partitions at desks.  

These three options presented after the district sent out surveys. They say only 37% of parents and guardians saying they want their kids to return in person.

Since the survey was sent out before the surge in Coronavirus cases in Orange County, those numbers may look different now.

The school board did not approve any plans Tuesday. They are expected to make final decisions in a board meeting next week.