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

Superintendent Addison Davis announced the school district's plans and gave three options.

TAMPA, Fla. — Class will be back in session this fall for students in Hillsborough County, but it will ultimately be up to parents to decide just how they want their kids to learn.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis announced the school district's plans and gave three options for parents.

  • Option A: Traditional face-to-face instruction
  • Option B: E-learning
  • Option C: Hillsborough Virtual School

But traditional face-to-face instruction might not even be an option, depending on if the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

Currently, the district has three models for how it could school could work this fall. It's within these models that students have the three learning options.

For instance, if the pandemic improves, students will likely return to school in the fall -- which would fall under Model A. But, if the governor's office were to shut down schools again, Model C would be invoked.

  • Model A outlines schools opening and operating like normal with low perceived risk. Traditional face-to-face instruction would occur. But, parents would also have the options of E-learning or sending their children to the Hillsborough Virtual School.

    “This entire plan presented today is all about safety, the well-being of our learners, and at the same time with our employees today,” said Superintendent Adison Davis.

  • Model B would have schools going back and doing a hybrid online and in-class rotation plan. Student schedules would be blended with 40 percent face-to-face instruction and 60 percent E-learning. Students would continue to have the option to do 100 percent E-learning or attend the Hillsborough Virtual School.

    Some school members voiced concern that option B’s on-again-off-again classroom schedule could be tough for some working parents.

    “I think from a parent standpoint it’s a logistical nightmare,” said Board Member Steve Cona.

  • Plan C would be going to full e-learning if schools close because of the coronavirus pandemic. The only options at this point would be full-time E-learning or the Hillsborough Virtual School.

Parents will be asked to take a new survey, beginning July 1, and weigh in on the plans. Once those results are in, Davis will present them to the school board, which has the final say on what to offer.

Also, for now, the district plans to offer each student at least three re-usable masks. They have also reached out to FEMA, requesting an extra 1 million mask that would be disposable.

At this time, there is no plan to require students’ temperatures to be taken at school.

Right now, schools are set to reopen Aug. 10, but if cases continue to surge or if there is new information learned about the effect on young people, some school board members asked for flexibility to open schools at a later date.

That would give them more time to properly react to whatever the circumstances are at the time. 

“The virus will dictate which model we have,” said Board Member Lynn Gray. “That’s my statement. Not, perhaps us, but the virus.”

Correction: A previous version of this story conflated the three models and the three options when describing the plan. These have been added in separate bulleted lists to make it easier to understand.

RELATED: What parents need to know about reopening of schools in Hillsborough County

RELATED: Hillsborough schools hosting reopening plan forum

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