Duval Students Will Return Aug. 10, In Person Or Online
Duval County Public Schools will be reopening for the fall semester on August 10, although online learning will still play a big role.
Superintendent Diana Greene laid out the district’s plan at school board meeting Tuesday.
“Our parent data was clear,” Greene said. “Many parents need schools to be open because of work obligations. However, many parents preferred an online environment due to continuing concerns around the pandemic. We wanted to make sure families have options, and we have accomplished that goal.”
With that in mind, the district outlined the following plans:
Elementary School Students
Families of elementary school children (K-5) can choose between an in-school option or one of two stay-at-home options.
For the in-school option, children will go to school as normal, five days a week. The only exception will be the district’s normal “early release” days. On early release days, which occur once a month, students will participate in their partial day through home learning while school buildings undergo a deep cleaning.
If going back to regular school is not a family’s preference, the district is providing two online learning options for elementary families who prefer to keep their children home full-time.
The first is Duval HomeRoom. This is the same option that all students used when COVID-19 forced remote, home-based learning in March. The enrollment processes for this option will be available to families in mid-July. Students choosing this option can also choose to return to their regular school at the end of each grading period or earlier under extenuating circumstances.
Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage
Elementary students can also enroll in the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy (DVIA). DVIA is a fully online school the district has operated for 10 years. Students can choose to enroll in DVIA as their regular, full-time school. Students who choose DVIA will withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment to DVIA. Information about DVIA and enrollment can be found here.
6th Grade Students
Choices for students in sixth grade are similar to the choices for elementary school students, with one exception. To accommodate social distancing in middle schools, sixth graders who choose in-person learning will attend school four days each week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, sixth graders will participate in remote, home-based learning through Duval HomeRoom.
Like elementary school students, sixth graders have two options for at-home, online learning. Families can choose to enroll their sixth graders in Duval HomeRoom on a full-time basis. The enrollment processes for this option will be available to families in mid-July. Students attending under this option can choose to return to their regular school at the end of each grading period or earlier under extenuating circumstances.
Sixth grade students can also enroll in the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy (DVIA). DVIA is a full online school the district has operated for 10 years. Students can choose to enroll in DVIA as their regular, full-time school. Students who choose DVIA withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment over to DVIA. Information about DVIA and enrollment can be found here.
7th, 8th Grade students
Seventh and eighth grade students will have an option of attending their regular schools on a hybrid basis, being at school three days each week. On their two days away from school, seventh and eighth grade students will participate in learning at-home through Duval HomeRoom.
Seventh and eighth grade students who prefer a fully online experience will be able to enroll in the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy. Students who choose DVIA withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment over to DVIA. Information about DVIA and enrollment can be found here.
High School Students
Students in ninth – 12th grade will attend their regular school two days a week with the remainder of their instruction occurring online through Duval HomeRoom.
Like students at all grade levels, high school students can enroll in Duval Virtual Instruction Academy, a fully online school the district has offered for 10 years. Students can choose to enroll in DVIA as their regular, full-time school. Students who choose DVIA withdraw from their regular school and switch their enrollment over to DVIA. Information about DVIA and enrollment can be found here.
Exceptional Education Students
Student in low incident ESE programs and Center Schools will participate full time at their 2020-2021 enrolled school. Remote learning and other reasonable accommodations may be determined on a case-by-case basis according to students' individual needs.
Wearing Face Masks
Students attending school will not be required to have face coverings during classes. They will be requested to wear face coverings while changing classes or using common areas of the school including bathrooms.
Face coverings will be required for students on school buses where social distancing is not possible. Students with exceptionalities or medical conditions that prevent any type of face covering can wear a face shield or some other accommodation based on the student’s needs.
The district is working on each of its more than 6,000 classrooms to maximize social distancing and install clear barriers between student stations. Some exceptions will include classrooms for grades pre-k to second. Students in these classes will be provided with plastic face shields, enabling them to move more freely around the classroom.
In addition to social distancing and physical barriers in classes, other important safety measures include temperature checks when entering school, frequent hand washing, and hand sanitizing products in classrooms. Personal protective equipment will be provided to employees.
Back To School Website
The district is preparing a website to address all the precautions being taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and directions regarding processes to pursue alternative options. This information is expected to be available to parents before July 4.
If students, parents or guardians have input or questions, they are encouraged to continue to submit those to the district using the form available here.