Thousands of students return to the classroom Monday

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Masked students in school. Credit: WINK News

Thousands of kids head back to school for in-person learning Monday. 10,000 students in Lee County and more than 5,000 in Collier County will transition from distance learning to on-campus classes.

The School District of Lee County said more students in the classroom will make it harder to social distance, but mask-wearing, one-way hallways, grab-and-go lunches, and seating assignments both on the bus and in the classroom are here to stay.

The district says all these precautions are working, and all of the coronavirus cases have come from off-campus.

One parent told us sending her kids back is a difficult choice because one of her sons has a weak immune system, but she needs to work and the kids need to learn.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that they’re in school,” said Mariluz Roos. “How, if when they’re home it’s not like a school setting. They don’t have video games in school, they don’t have headsets and other things to be entertained with.”

Some teachers from Lee Home Connect and virtual school have been shifted back to campus, creating new classes for students coming back to campus for the first time today. This measure is meant to help limit the class sizes and make social distancing somewhat easier.

“Very pleased with what the protocols have done for us so far,” said Rob Spicker of Lee County Schools. “It’s hard to predict the future, but what’s really important about COVID[-19] in our schools is there’s no secondary transmissions, that means it’s not being spread in the school; those illnesses that are reported out of the campus have come on campus from somewhere else.”

Students still in Lee Home Connect or virtual school will have another opportunity to join the classroom after the holidays.

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