Duval County Public School students will get an extra week of spring break amid coronavirus concerns.
Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene made the announcement to extend the break until at least March 22 Friday afternoon.
“It became apparent that it was going to be very challenging for us to open up Monday and be confident that we could support our employees and our students,” Greene said.
All field trips, athletics events and other gatherings are cancelled, according to Greene.
The only academic activity taking place will be SAT testing at five high schools in the county on Saturday, March 14.
“Appropriate cleaning before and after testing will take place in those testing areas,” Greene said.
The district is asking any employee or student who has flu-like symptoms, traveled outside the country, or could have potentially been exposed to the virus to tell them so they could compile a list of people who need to self-isolate. Green said the list could reach hundreds of people.
During the extra week, Green said the district is preparing in case the extra time off needs to be extended out even further. Virtual classes and paper packets to give to students are all being considered. For e-learning, Greene said the district will provide laptops and wi-fi access to some of its students.
As for meals, the district is working with Kids Hope Alliance and United Way to come up with plans for students who need it next week.
Greene said the spring break extension will impact the school year, but she doesn’t know how the adjusted schedule will look right now.
Discussions between the teacher’s union and school board are ongoing for how hourly workers will make up pay.
“I’m very proud that our union president is here,” Green said. “She’s been very supportive and working with us and we’ll continue those conversations again.”
School officials said they will continue updating their website and app daily with the latest news and information students, parents and employees need to know surrounding coronavirus.
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