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SWFL school districts plan for in-person learning this fall

While this school year isn’t over yet, some districts are looking forward to their plans for the next school year. The pandemic changed the way children learned but schools are hoping that things will be back to normal.

For the past year, learning has consisted of children behind screens and in Zoom boxes and teachers alone in their classrooms but embracing the challenges that have come their way.

“It was difficult and it is hard. Yet they continue to move forward and do what’s best for kids,” said Clayton Simmons, executive director for High Schools and Special Centers at the School District of Lee County.

For some kids, this means logging offline and stepping back into physical classrooms. Others want to make sure they have the opportunity to stay online.

Lee, Collier and Charlotte school districts removed their virtual school options that were created for the pandemic since more students are expected to head back to in-person learning in the fall.

While things are supposed to look somewhat normal, the upcoming school year may combine old and new techniques, thanks to technology skills acquired within the past year.

“It has really reshaped education in general. There are practices that our teachers have said, with Google classroom and communication with their families, that they are not going to shift,” said Candace Allevato, director for High School Curriculum and Instruction for Lee County schools.

“Those things will be in place all next year even though their students will be back face-to-face.”

Educators believe these technological tools have made teachers more accessible to their students. This has become evident with the way tutoring works. Now it is done virtually at any time throughout the day, not just before or after school.

“We have this technology so why don’t we use it and make it convenient for students and their families and also convenient for our teachers in a time that’s good for them,” Simmons said.

Parents, if you would like to keep your child learning at home, there are still options available:

  • In Lee County, you can enroll in Lee Virtual School
  • In Collier County, E-Collier Virtual academy is available
  • In Charlotte County, Charlotte virtual is an option
Reporter:Zach Oliveri
Writer:Drew Hill
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