Reopening plan for Lee County schools up in the air, likely until late summer

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
The School District of Lee County. Photo via WINK News.
Credit: WINK News.

Leaders of a local school district are throwing around ideas about how they will return students to the classroom while facing financial cuts.

We monitored The School District of Lee County’s meeting Monday, where we learned about ideas being tossed around during uncertain times. It’s evident the plan to reopen the District will remain unclear through the summer.

“There’s a lot of unknowns out there,” said Dr. Gregory Adkins, the District superintendent.

And the District has no choice to plan for all of those unknowns. Will teachers and students be in the classroom this fall? Will e-learning continue? Or will there be some kind of hybrid?

“Let’s say a split schedule, so you have split between virtual and in person including differences that would occur between the different levels,” Adkins said. “For example, elementary students need more contact.”

That means more time with teachers.

But what about riding the school bus? Or eating lunch? Social distancing in class?

There are many questions being asked, but all of them seem to end without good answers.

And Adkins says the budget is going to take a big hit. State and local tourism dollars and sales tax receipts are way down.

Adkins believes that schedule might look like this next school year: “So you might start virtual then go to a hybrid and then go to a full return,” he said.

The District hopes parents will be patient. Board members say they likely won’t know how the reopening of schools will go until late this summer.

A couple things to be on the lookout for:

  1. The state budget will reveal how much money Lee County county schools can expect or not expect come August.
  2. The CDC guidelines on how schools should reopen.

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