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Leon County Schools teachers anxious for final plan from reopen task force

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 18:36:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Teachers in Leon County say they're frustrated after another reopen schools task force meeting leaves them with more unanswered questions.

They want a plan and they want the chance to prepare.

Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna laid out some of his reopening ideas on Thursday but they're still days away from finding out for sure, what's next.

Jessica Barthle is a high school art teacher in Leon County.

"The amount of stress that I have is squashing the tremendous workload that I have and just trying to make sure that I am okay."

She says day-to-day things are tough with a lot of uncertainty and a lot of hesitation about going back to school.

"Reopening is a little reckless and irresponsible," said Barthle. "It's understandably an incredibly complicated situation because we have some parents who need their kids in schools for a multitude of reasons, but at the same time we're dealing with an unprecedented situation."

As of Thursday, LCS is reopening on August 24.

Hanna laid out a plan that involved kids being able to bounce back and forth from home to school and moving class schedules from six classes to three for less transition time and chances to spread COVID-19.

It's something Barthle admits has educational benefits, too.

"Block scheduling gives us a little flexibility that trying to teach all of our courses in one day doesn't afford," Barthle said.

Teachers are scheduled to return on the 10, giving them two weeks for planning.

"No matter what we do, it's not perfect, right? But with this new plan class sizes will be reduced by 30 percent," said Hanna.

Barthle says she and other teachers just want a plan in stone so everyone can be prepared.

Hanna says these ideas are still fluid-and they'll be running on a week-to-week basis once classes start.

He's not opposed to closing schools if it doesn't work.

When asked about President Trump's threat to do something to places that don't reopen, Hanna said he was willing to fight for teachers even if a lawsuit does come.