Collier County Public Schools encourages families to follow guidelines heading into the holidays

More kids are returning to the classroom as cases are rising within Collier County Public Schools, so schools are preparing for the possibility of another spike following the holidays, paired with the return of students in the second semester.

Chad Oliver, the CCPS executive director of communications and community engagement, expects more students to return to in-person learning after the holidays but says there’s good news from NCH Health System.

“Dr. Lindner in particular said the data supports that the efforts of opening schools and protecting the students and teachers are working,” Oliver said.

Oliver blames the rise in cases on gatherings outside of school.

“So it’s one thing to have these requirements on school campus, but what happens when our students and staff are not on school campus and the requirement isn’t there per se?” Oliver said.

Janelle Scott is glad to see her daughter, Maya, back in school.

“She need to be with her friends to really excel,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, CCPS reported more than 150 coronavirus cases in November.

“I am a little afraid, especially with a spike in November, Scott said.

Scott believes 6,000 students returning last month made health protocols tougher to follow.

“There’s definitely not any social distancing,” Scott said. “[Maya] said, when all the kids came back in November, everything was more crowded.”

The school district hopes, with emails being sent out, families will choose to be safe outside of school this holiday season.

Scott said she will watch the numbers closely.

“I’m very concerned about it,” Scott said. “If things start creeping up; there’s another spike; I’m considering having her come back home.”

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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