School District of Lee County appoints reopening task force

The School District of Lee County. Photo via WINK News.
Credit: WINK News.

The Lee County School District is getting ready for the next school year, appointing a reopening task force to find the safest way to bring students back to class in August.

The “Pre-K to 12 Education Pandemic Response Task Force” will meet through the summer.

The group’s four big priorities are as follows:

  • Making sure students can get a good and equal education next year
  • Keep people safe and healthy
  • Make sure everyone is confident that schools will do enough to keep the students healthy
  • Staying responsible for how much it will cost

“I’m looking forward to getting their input because we’ve got a lot of important decisions to make,” says Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins. “It’s going to be very important for us to get out in front of the public quite a bit over the course of the summer to communicate our plans and get feedback.”

While the district says they hope for a full reopening in August, the task force will assist in planning for three scenarios in case full reopening cannot happen:

  • Full-time distance learning
  • Combination of in-person and online classes
  • Full return to campus with safety measures

Task Force members will assess recommendations concerning schedules, transportation, personal preventative and screening protocols, disinfecting and cleaning guidelines, and how to best use existing classroom, cafeteria and gym space to maximize social distancing.

Meetings will be recorded and posted on the district’s YouTube channel.

The task force’s findings and recommendations will be presented to the School Board.

An email address dedicated to the Task Force has also been established. Parents can write to with their questions, concerns, comments or suggestions.

The PreK-12 Education Pandemic Response Task Force consists of a School Board liaison and members chosen by the Superintendent. Appointees include health professionals, business and community leaders, law enforcement, TALC and SPALC, principals, parents and students. District staff will provide support. The Task Force members are:

  • Betsy Vaughn – School Board Member, School District of Lee County
  • Dr. Mary Beth Saunders – Infectious Disease/Epidemiology, Lee Health
  • Char-nequa Smith (Shay) – Executive Community Health Nursing Director, Florida Department of Health, Lee County
  • Lt. Angel Queipo – Lieutenant, Youth Services Division, Lee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Capt. Jason Fields – Captain, Operations Division Fort Myers Police Department
  • Harlan Parrish – President FineMark National Bank & Trust, Lee County
  • Marshall Bower – President & CEO, Foundation for Lee County Public Schools
  • Marcus Goodson – Executive Director, Lee County Housing Authority
  • Isaac Dozier – Director, Community Development, City of Fort Myers Housing Authority
  • Kevin Daly – President, Teachers Association of Lee County
  • Jamie Michael – President, Support Personnel of Lee County
  • Carl Burnside – Principal, Dunbar High School, School District of Lee County
  • Melissa Layner – Principal, Bonita Springs Middle Center for the Arts, School District of Lee County
  • Scott LeMaster – Principal, Manatee Elementary, School District of Lee County
  • Scott Hertz – President, District Advisory Committee
  • Amy-Jane McWilliam – Parent Representative, West Zone, Elementary, Middle & High school parent
  • Brenda Clark – Parent Representative, West Zone, Elementary & High school parent
  • Angela Haas – Parent Representative, South Zone, Elementary school parent
  • Chrystal Vervaet – Parent Representative, South Zone, Elementary school parent
  • Jacqueline Lineberger – Parent Representative, East Zone, Middle, High school parent
  • Jewelene Harris – Parent Representative, East Zone, Middle, High school parent
  • Brooklyn Gossett – Student, Mariner High School, West Zone
  • Sedona Stewart – Student, Bonita Springs High School, South Zone
  • Yamicil Bermudez – Student, Lehigh Senior High School, East Zone

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