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Are Parents in St. Johns County Ready to Give Up Distance Learning? The neighborhood wants to know


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL – Heads of schools in St. Johns County want to know where families are doing with distance learning and whether these students will be returning to class soon.

A new survey that will be sent to the families of distance education students in schools asks only one question: at the end of the first term, will these students return or not?

In an email to families in St. Johns County on Wednesday, Superintendent Tim Forson announced that the district will no longer allow families to switch students from traditional learning to virtual learning in school settings. , unless there is a serious risk to health.

Forson said the constant movement in and out of learning models creates a challenge for staff, especially teachers.

“The teachers are doing an incredible job, but it is increasingly difficult to manage both platforms throughout the day,” said Forson. “To provide the best educational experience for your child, we need more consistency and less change. “

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Michelle Dillon, who heads the local teachers’ union, said she heard these concerns firsthand.

“Our teachers had students go back and forth from the actual classroom to distance learning and this created havoc not only for the teachers, but I’m sure for the administrative staff, principals, principals. assistants and front desk staff. “said Dillon.

Thus, the district is now asking where the families of distance learners are with their teaching model.

A drafted letter of inquiry should be sent to families asking if they plan to return to campus when the second term begins on November 2 or continue distance education until the expiration of the order. emergency on December 18.

Parents are asked to complete the survey by next Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the school year that started on August 31:

  • 12,067 students participated in distance learning

  • 1,291 students moved from campus to distance education

  • 2,752 students have moved from distance education to campus

  • 44,175 students in total in the district

But the mechanism allowing students to leave the brick and mortar behind for virtual learning is not going away. The students could still test positive or join the 665 St. Johns County students who are currently in quarantine.

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Dillon said it’s never just a quick transition.

“It requires a restructuring of the lesson plans, that class list looking at attendance,” Dillon said. “What does this child need at home?” What does this child have at home? Do they have a printer? Do they have someone who can stay home with them and help them with homework? So it’s constantly, constantly thinking on your feet, changing and adapting, and a lot of work coming home after contract hours.

One thing that doesn’t change and adapt, said the superintendent, is school health and safety protocols. Hygiene practices, masks and social distancing will always be strongly encouraged.

News4Jax spoke to several parents on Thursday about their intentions for the next term and many said they would go back to brick and mortar, but some said they were still hesitant.

News4Jax asked the district if the school-based distance learning option would expire in December with the emergency order, but a spokesperson did not respond until this story was released.

Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.


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