School Board Will Review Plan to Reopen Schools

A plan to reopen Polk public schools in August will be presented to School Board members in a virtual work session at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Here is an overview of the meeting as well as a report summarizing the recommendations for reopening:

  • What: Polk School Board work session on reopening schools with coronavirus precautions
  • When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Online
  • Watch live on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrMNMLShuRo
  • Watch live on cable: Comcast Channel 7, Frontier Channel 45, Spectrum Channel 642.
  • Who: Polk County Public Schools Reopening Task Force will present to the Polk County School Board. Special guests: Drs. Kenneth Alexander and Adriana Cadilla, infectious disease experts with Nemours Children’s Hospital.
  • Plan summary: View it here or at the end of this article.
  • More information: Background info and video of previous meetings can be seen at the PCPS Reopening page.

The task force recommends three options:

  • Campus learning for preK-12 at brick-and-mortar schools. Masks would be required and social distancing would be practiced when feasible. Health screening would be put in place for students, faculty and staff; only essential visitors would be allowed on campus.
  • Campus eSchool for K-12 that would enable online learning tied to the student’s zoned, choice or magnet school. Parents would serve as learning coaches.
  • Polk Virtual School for K-12 follows curricula from Florida Virtual School “and other vendors.” More info

If conditions become unsafe for campus learning, the school system plans to pivot to the Campus eSchool model for distance learning.

Enhanced cleaning procedures are envisioned for schools and buses. Students would be required to wear masks on buses, enter from the rear of the bus and sit in assigned seats.

The meal recommendations include grab-and-go service for older students, food-delivery models for younger students, and seeking to limit cafeteria seating to 50% by using classrooms and outdoor spaces for some students.

The recommendation for classroom setup: “Arrange desks so students are separated by one another by 6 feet when feasible. If it is not possible to arrange seating 6 feet apart, consider having all students sit facing the same direction.”

The school district plans to submit its plan for reopening to the Florida Department of Education by July 31.

Here is an overview of the reopening plan that School Board members will discuss: