JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Education is encouraging long-distance learning after announcing Tuesday evening that all campuses within Florida school districts will be closed until April 15 in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
These schools include all public and private K-12 and career and technical center campuses, according to the Department of Education and Commissioner Richard Corcoran.
Regarding the closures, Corcoran said the following:
- Schools are encouraged to operate virtually or through other non-classroom-based means to implement learning away from campuses.
- School districts should be prepared to extend their calendars through June 30, 2020.
- For Duval, Union, Collier and Sumter county school districts, school campuses will remain closed through April 15, 2020, although they will begin instruction virtually on March 23.
- To support students with identified Individualized Education Program-related services who may have a disruption in services, school districts are given flexibility for the remainder of the school year to provide alternative services or delay services until later in the summer months, in coordination with a student’s parents and IEP team.
In Duval County, home-based learning will be called Duval HomeRoom. The program will begin Monday.
DCPS said the HomeRoom initiative will use creative and familiar approaches to instruction appropriate for students' grade levels, using learning platforms students already routinely use.
Duval school leaders are asking if any family does not have access to a computer and internet connection, to let the district know. All families can participate in a survey, available here.
Florida Department of Education released the following statement:
"The containment of COVID-19 is essential, and this is not a decision we made lightly. Districts have taken action and have instituted distance learning as a necessary precaution to protect students, educators, families, and Florida’s overall public health. We are working with our local school districts to provide guidance and help children who need access to food during this time. Our number one priority is keeping our families safe and healthy and stopping the spread of this virus. These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Florida. I will continue to work with the Governor, Superintendents, Florida College System and the State University System to do whatever we can to protect our children, our families, and our communities."