TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As Governor Ron DeSantis stands firm on keeping schools open, the Leon County School board is hard at work coming up with the best ways to offer students a safe education this fall.
Part of their plan is to get fewer kids in the classrooms.
"Instead of scheduling 1,500 kids at Lincoln in brick and mortar and five or 600 in digital academies and splitting them, we're combining them," said Rocky Hanna, the superintendent of Leon County Schools. "Well, that combination allows for less students who are physical in a classroom."
His idea would also require teachers to simultaneously teach in-person and virtual classes, which some say would add additional strain.
But as cases continue to rise across the state, board members are urging parents to opt for digital learning if they can to increase safety.
"If we ask our parents, those who can and will, those who may have opted for in-class instruction, those who can bear the brunt of in-home instruction to do so so that we can ensure that we can bring down class sizes," Daryl Jones said. "Make this everyone's responsibility."
Some say they support the district's call to keep more kids home, but for them, it's not financially possible.
"They say you're using it as a daycare but the fact is that to alternate childcare for each of my kids is an additional $600 a month per kid."
Others like Keli Harwood say they're happy to help the district accomplish their goal.
"All I can do is my part because I can and allowing people don't have that luxury to be able to access their school safely as possible," said Harwood.
LCS members are working with the Leon Classroom Teachers Association to determine how to best meet the needs of merging virtual and in-person classes through COVID-19.