Charlotte County Schools push back school year, more time to plan for ‘new normal’

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Credit: via WINK News.

Many of you out there with kids are struggling with whether to send your children back into the classroom.

While that’s a decision each of you has to make on your own, Charlotte County joins the list of districts giving you a little more time to decide.

Brittany Brooks’ kids are eager to trade in the park for their classroom.

“I actually just broke the news to my daughter that it’s starting a little bit later and she’s upset,” she said.

But this school year will look a bit different for both staff and students with a delayed start — pushed back to Aug. 31 and a mask mandate in all classrooms, buses and district buildings.

“We got her some cute ones, so she’s just excited to wear them and she is excited to go back to school,” Brooks said.

“It’s going to be challenging, but we don’t want to be punitive about it,” said Michael Riley, the school community liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools. “What we want to do is instill in them the social responsibility of wearing a mask.”

If a student has a health issue that prevents them from wearing a mask, the schools will handle it on a case-by-case basis.

But the new rule adds to the growing list of obstacles for teachers and staff and an adjustment for students and families.

“My biggest concern is that we have too many students in too little space. From the buses to the classrooms, we just aren’t going to be able to distance the kids within the guidelines,” said John Jordan, president of the Charlotte Florida Education Association.

“We are a little nervous, but I think we have to start somewhere,” Brooks said.

Parents have three options for their students: home school, in-person schooling and Charlotte Virtual School. The district says it will push back the registration deadline for virtual school to mid-August.

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