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Leon County Schools prepare for indefinite distance learning

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 18:17:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools is now preparing in case students don't return for the rest of the school year.

Their academic program made the move to digital, distance learning, teachers put two-weeks of classwork online today and printed packets will be available for pick up Monday.

However, LCS is planning to extend the earlier announced distance learning time period if school remains out for the rest of the year.

That decision is up to Governor DeSantis. In the meantime, students will learn from home.

While the school district worked on getting alternative courses ready, they also made sure students got fed.

"Leon County has provided a meal, breakfast or lunch, to any student 18 and below," said Dr. Benny Bolden, principal at Nims Middle School.

With so much time out of the classroom some teachers found a special way to show students just how much they've been missed with a parade.

"To get out in the community, to just allow students to lay eyes on their teachers it's a very important thing," said Chris Petley, spokesperson for Leon County Schools. "We know that the emotional part of this over the next couple of weeks in our country and in our community is going to take a toll."

Without knowing when the spread of coronavirus will end, no matter what happens, the district says it will be ready.

But much of what happens next falls in the school teachers hands.

Assistant superintendent Gillian Gregory says LCS has noticed many parents have problems with connectivity and internet access.

They're advising the students to do work throughout the day instead of following the normal school hours.

"We're basically giving the batons back to the principals on Monday and on Monday," said Gregory. "They're going to give the baton back to the classroom teachers. The classroom teaches are going to be monitoring who is engaged and who's not engaged. They'll be following up using our parent portal to make phone calls."

LCS will also open up two additional meal sites at Astoria Park and Sealey Elementary next week.

They are also planning to move two locations so that students aren't having to cross over busy streets, like Orange Avenue.