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Here's what going back to school in Hernando County could look like for students

The school board approved the district's Return to School Plan Tuesday.

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Schools across the Tampa Bay area are gearing up for the start of classes in August, and many are preparing multiple options for how that will work for students, teachers and parents depending on any state or county mandates. 

On Tuesday, the Hernando County School Board approved a Return to School Plan. This will serve as a guide for students safely returning to school. Hernando is the first district in the Tampa Bay area to finalize school reopening plans. 

It outlines how classes will look come August – detailing rules for everything from busing to school lunches, sick students and parents and guidance about travel. The district says if there are education changes at the state level then its plan will change to align with those.  

Parents who don’t want to send their children to face-to-face instruction can enroll their children in Hernando eSchool. Hernando had a large task force that consulted with medical professionals and the Department of Health. With 22,000 students in the county, they surveyed families and received answers from 4,000 people. 

Here's what school could look like in Hernando County: 

Plan A: If the state allows schools to reopen, the district will re-open August 10. Parents will be given two options for their children to return to school:

  • Option 1 – Return to Face-to-Face instruction on campus with safety measures in place. 
  • Those measures include limiting access to campus for all visitors, social distancing on buses, cafeterias and classrooms
  • Option 2 – Enroll in Hernando eSchool
  • July 21st is the deadline for families to register if they choose that option.
  • Devices will not be provided

 Plan B: Schools Remain Closed – if the state does not allow schools to reopen, the district will utilize a digital learning platform for instruction.

Plan C: State Mandated Mid-Year Closure Plan– if schools have to close at some point during the middle of the school year, the district is planning:

  • Instructional Days - Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
  • Students will attend live instructional lessons provided by the teachers.
  • Students will attend MTSS live lessons if identified as a need for intervention.
  • Independent Study Days - Wednesdays, Fridays
  • Students will use this time to complete assignments, projects, and study for assessments.
  • Teachers will use this time to develop lesson plans, deliver MTSS interventions/documentation, communicate with families who need extra assistance, attend professional development, and/or participate in faculty/department meetings.

The district sent Hernando County families a Parent Survey on May 29. Nearly 4,000 people responded to the survey. The results found 70 percent of parents said they were comfortable with sending their students back to school in August. The survey also showed 86 percent of parents preferred returning to traditional face-to-face school with required health and safety rules in place. 

RELATED: School districts across Tampa Bay plan for August reopening

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