TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Starting in the Fall, all Leon County schools will no longer offer digital classes. It's a decision, district leaders say, gets students, teachers and parents back to normal.
"We will be closing those digital Academies at the end of the school year and again opening our arms to all those that want to return next fall," said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna.
In August, parents can either return their child to brick-and-mortar classes or switch to the broader digital class offering. Right now, only about 260 students are currently enrolled in Leon Virtual School, compared to roughly 10,000 students whose parents opted for the school-based digital classes.
"For those who don't, who still aren't comfortable, really enjoy, or have been thriving in a remote learning environment," Hanna says, "we're going to direct them then to Leon virtual school."
Parent David West says he thinks it's a good idea, but feels the timing is off.
"I think it's too soon to say that COVID will be eradicated to the point or at least down to a level that would justify, that would suggest that opening schools in a business as usual manner would be appropriate yet," said West.
Although Leon Classroom Teacher Association President Scott Mazur agrees, he knows teachers need the return to normalcy.
"We know that we've been to some school visits and the hybrid model, the stress levels that teachers are feeling right now ... They're tired," said Mazur. "This has taken a toll on everyone, and they are very clear about it. Like, we can't do a hybrid model much longer, so there has to be a plan to move forward."
Both say they look forward to seeing the district approach the change cautiously.
LCS will begin surveying parents of digital learners about their enrollment intentions during the first two weeks of March.