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Florida K-12 schools will continue virtual classes rest of school year

Florida students now know they will not be headed back to school classrooms at all this school year.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Saturday that all Florida K-12 schools will continue doing virtual classes for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.

“I think there was just logistical things, and I think there was a division,” DeSantis said. “We have folks all across the country watching what we’re doing, so I felt that that was a good thing.”

The announcement that e-learning will continue through the end of this school year is bringing a mix of emotions for parents, kids, and school staff alike. There is some sadness, some disappointment and some relief that students will be kept safe, and some concern for the unknown.

For Deyanir Helt, it means juggling her job with helping her daughter, Briana, with school.

“I’m just a little concerned because I’m a single parent and working so many hours,” Helt said. “Briana’s gotta be with me now until the end of the school year.”

Helt is not the only one concerned. Lee County School Board member Melisa Giovannelli said her phone has been full of calls from parents with both questions and concerns. But she said the decision to keep schools closed is what is best for everyone’s safety.

“We have to put our community and our students’ safety first,” Giovannelli said. “And I don’t think our community has peaked yet regarding the virus, so I think that it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Superintendent Gregory Adkins acknowledged the disappointment over students finishing the school year outside of the classroom but emphasized safety, per a statement released. He said the district will still provide meal services for students, and the district is working on rescheduling graduation for seniors.

And parents and students, such as Helt and her daughter, do wish they could still be in school.

“I miss all my friends and my teacher, Ms. Miller,” Briana said.

They understand that staying safe is the top priority.

“I think it is the best thing to do, and I’ll feel better with Briana with me,” Helt said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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