Collier County Public Schools say high school students must return to campus in spring or enroll in eCollier

Collier County Public School announced Thursday high school students in the school district must return to in-person classes come Jan. 18, or enroll in eCollier Academy.

Currently, students in grades 9 through 12 use what is called flexible, at-home learning. This option allows the student to stay enrolled at their high school and learn virtually from teachers at that school.

Now, that option will be going away.

eCollier Academy is a flexible full-time virtual school open right now to K-8 students, but will further be opened up to allow all grade levels, including high school.

All CCPS students who choose not to enroll in eCollier Academy and transfer schools will be required to return to campuses to start the second semester.

According to the district: “Parents of all CCPS students still seeking a virtual option in the second semester (which begins January 19 2021) may enroll their students in eCollier Academy, a distinct virtual school within CCPS.

The superintendent explained in an email to parents Thursday: “Currently, the Commissioner’s Executive Order expires in December 2020 which includes our CCPS innovative model of Classroom Connect/High School Flexible virtual scheduling. As a result, all students will be expected to return to campus January 20, 2021, (January 19 is a Virtual Learning Day and the first day of Quarter 3/second semster) with the exception of students enrolled in eCollier Academy (eCA), the distinct virtual school within CCPS.”

“Well, I mean there is positive and negative,” student Logan Deery said.

Will Akers said, his family is ready for the change, “It’s about time.”

“The impact this has had on the kids, I don’t think we’ll know for years,” Akers added. “We’ll deal with the consequences, but we’ve got to get back to normal.”

Deery attends Gulf Coast High School but is currently taking online classes.

“As someone who does online, it’s not the same as being in person,” Deery said. “So I think it’s a good thing.”

But some of his classmates want to continue online learning.

“I kind of like the idea of it, but I don’t know if I want to go back completely because I kind of got used to the whole schedule and what I’ve been doing every day,” student Sydney Sergio said.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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