Lee County school reopening task force discusses safety measures

School districts in Southwest Florida are trying to figure out how to bring every student and teacher back to the classroom after the governor said it would happen by fall.

Educators are worried more kids are falling behind while learning from home.

“Open up the schools. Let’s get the best educational environment. Let’s keep everybody safe in our educational community and now attack like no other state has before the achievement gap,” said Richard Corcoran, Florida education commissioner.

Lee County’s public schools are set to start the academic year on Aug. 10. District leaders are listening, but they said the return to school is becoming more complicated every day.

Since they met last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis put out his plan to fully reopen schools, and then there’s the spike in positive cases.

The district’s task force started out talking about its concerns: If kids have to stay in the same room all day, they’ll get cabin fever; it isn’t practical to have students move through a hallway and social distance; for kids that choose to stay at home, how do schools ensure they get the same level of instruction.

The district then walked through a presentation of what they also must consider: Are masks mandatory? Do they have staggered arrival and dismissal times? Will there be temperature checks?

Nothing discussed during Wednesday’s task force meeting is official. They’ll meet again next Wednesday.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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