Seminole County approves back-to-school plan with start date of Aug. 17

The Seminole County School District approved back-to-school plans and delayed the beginning of the 2020 year during a  workshop and special school meeting on Tuesday.

School leaders have laid out four options for parents: Face-to-face, Seminole Connect, virtual school, or a hybrid of the options:

  • Face-to-Face: Learning in a classroom for 5-days-a-week traditional schooling.  
  • Seminole Connectb At-home learning aligned to the SCPS Instructional Plans/Frameworks and Florida State Standards. 
  • Seminole County Virtual School (SCVS): A fully accredited K-12 public school created and supervised by SCPS and taught by SCPS teachers. Students remain at home and work on their own schedules. 
  • Hybrid: A combination of Face-to-Face, Seminole Connect, and Seminole County Virtual School courses depending on grade-level. 

Seminole Connect would be a refined version of distance learning parents experienced at the end of the school year a few weeks ago.

“Almost like a distance learning, remote learning option, like the end of the school year,” said Michael Lawrence, with the district’s communication team.

He added face-to-face learning would follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, including masks and deep-cleaning campuses.

“We would have a lot of hand sanitizing stations. There would be cleaning schedules for all of our campuses. Staff would be required to wear masks,” he said.

But before the meeting, teachers gathered for a car rally outside of the district’s headquarters in Sanford asking leaders to ensure the safety of employees and students.

Laura Barnett has been a teacher at Greenwood Lakes Middle School for several years. She wanted a delay to the start of the school year and felt August 10 was too early for face-to-face interaction.

“When it’s not safe for them to meet in this building tonight for a school board meeting, and they’re meeting virtually, and they met virtually for a workshop today, how can it be safe for us to be required to meet face-to-face with students in two weeks?” she said.

Before recessing for the evening, school board members voted to delay the start of the school year until August 17.