WINTER HAVEN, FL — Polk County Public Schools will delay the start of the 2020-21 school year at least until Aug. 24 due to the rising transmission of coronavirus cases in the community, a news release said.
“We are trending upward with the rise of COVID-19 cases, not only in the state, but right here in Polk County,” Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said in a news release. “At this time, I do not feel it is safe to physically reopen schools on Aug. 10. We need to delay the opening of school at least until August 24. We will continue to monitor the situation with health officials and, if the spread of the virus remains high, we can further delay the physical reopening of our brick-and-mortar schools if necessary.”
For the upcoming school year, Polk County Public Schools plans to offer three distinct learning formats, and families can choose the one that best meets their needs.
The school district said that parents must register their children for one of the three learning options by July 27.
To find out more about the three learning options and complete the online registration, visit polkschoolsfl.com/reopening
Here is an overview of the three learning options for the 2020-21 school year:
Campus Learning — Students return to campus and interact in person with teachers and classmates. Various health and safety protocols will be put in place. Students will receive standards-based instruction from a certified teacher. There will be structured class times. Transportation and meals will be provided.
Campus eSchool — Students remain enrolled in their zoned, choice or magnet school of acceptance, but they participate in online learning. Students will be required to log in at a certain time, and there will be specified times for the various subjects, such as math, science and language arts. Parents serve as learning coaches and monitor students on completing their assignments. For planning purposes, they ask parents to make a quarterly commitment to eSchool if they determine this is the learning format that is best for them and their child.
Polk Virtual School — Students enroll in Polk County Public Schools’ longstanding virtual school program with online lessons taught by PCPS teachers. Students work at their own pace and can set their own schedule. Time management and self-motivation are essential. Parents serve as learning coaches and monitor students on completing their assignments. For planning purposes, they ask that families who select Polk Virtual School to make a semester-long commitment.
This article originally appeared on the Lakeland Patch