The Duval County School Board on Thursday approved Superintendent Diana Greene’s back-to-school plan, which includes a delayed start of the school year by 10 days as well as hybrid learning options.
The hours-long meeting was full of tears, passion and dozens of public comments — mostly in opposition of the plan, according to WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union.
“I’m going to be brief today — I don’t want to die,” Michelle Moore, a teacher of 12 years said, as she plead for an online-only start to the school year until the number of coronavirus cases tapers down. “You can’t learn if you’re in the hospital, or you’re attending your grandmother’s funeral or there are no substitutes because there are so many teachers hospitalized. ... I implore you to do the right thing.”
The vote was split 5-2, with members Ashley Smith-Juarez and Daryl Willie voting against the plan.
“I do not believe it is responsible for us as a school district to ... send our kids back to school,” Smith-Juarez said. “I will not be supporting a plan that continues to offer a hybrid or five-day option without a clear direction ... only if and when case counts are controlled.”
Under the current plan, Duval County Public Schools will reopen for students on Aug. 20 and for instructors on Aug. 12, giving faculty an additional planning day.
The approved plan was unchanged compared to a draft version published Wednesday. It includes:
‒ A brick-and-mortar option five-days-per-week for elementary school students.
‒ A “bridge” option that transitions from partial in-person instruction at the start of school to full-time for middle and high school versions by Sept. 17.
‒ Two distance-learning options for all grade levels: Duval HomeRoom, which allows the student to remain registered at their current school, or Duval Virtual Instruction Academy, which transfers the student to full-time virtual school.
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