Schools develop second-semester plans, adding stipulation to virtual learning

The Osceola County School District said if students were failing, they wanted to see them back in the classroom.

“We're just not going to allow students out there to fail without reaching out and partnering with parents to do what's right for everyone,” said Dr. Debra Pace, Osceola County Public Schools Superintendent.

Osceola schools approved a second-semester plan that required students learning at home to maintain at least a "C" in their classes, and have a 90 percent attendance rate.

“We also are committed as a part of our mission and vision to be a partner with parents and families to help make sure kids are being successful,” Dr. Pace said.

Pace said there were alternatives for students if parents didn’t want them back in traditional classes, like Saturday camp.

“Where we have kids in smaller groups, a designated space with one adult. We can work through what they need for reading or math interventions. Whatever it is the child needs,” Pace said.

There were also Peer Professionals, who assisted teachers in giving students extra help.

“Who are tremendous partners to our teachers in supporting kids learning to get more involved on a regular basis with your child during class or an alternative time - whatever works for you and your family,” Pace said.

Marion County Schools took things a step farther, asking struggling students who are taking classes remotely to sign a document showing that they understood the responsibilities of learning from home.

“They have to sign an academic contract that outlines what they must do in order to continue in the online world,” said Kevin Christian, Marion County Public Schools spokesman.

The document states, “I understand that maintaining my current placement in MCPS-online depends upon my performance. I must follow all school rules, policies, and procedures at all times."

It goes on to list them, including attending classes, doing all class and homework, and maintaining a "C" or better.

If not, Christian said, “that means making decisions that brings them back physically into the classroom, or putting them into an online situation where they can better succeed versus one where they're required to be in front of that device for 5 or 6 hours a day.”

We reached out to all the districts in central Florida for the details on their second-semester plans. All of them said they would continue to offer in-person, remote learning, and virtual school for their students. Most of them required students to maintain at least a "C" average to keep learning from home.