We are less than one month away from the start of school in Lee County, which means teachers, parents and students are getting ready to go back to the classroom. The school district is continuing to hire more teachers and staff members, which it says will be an ongoing process throughout the whole year.
The District is also focusing its efforts on hiring bus drivers. Recruitment events for drivers are being held throughout Lee County and medical benefits are now being offered upfront to them, as they would be to regular employees. The District says its teachers are preparing for the new year as well, with many of them taking courses to help them in their professional development to learn new skills. This year will also mark the opening of Gateway High School, as well as Lehigh Acres Middle School on its brand-new campus.
There have also been ongoing meetings to decide which COVID-19 protocols will carry into the next year. It has already been decided that masks will be optional.
“We’re just really looking forward to having a more normal school year, and putting all of our staff in the position that they are most useful at,” said Rob Spicker, SDLC spokesman. “We had to move people around last year when there were quarantines and absences. So, as we move into August, they’ll be in their primary roles.”
One of the biggest differences between this year and last year will be the lack of quarantine absences. Last year, because schools had to move staff around to different positions to adjust for quarantines, students did not always get the same teacher the whole year. This resulted in even counselors and literacy coaches having to teach classes since they were certified.
“You know, it is summer, but this is the time where we do plan ahead,” Spicker said. “So there are meetings underway just to put in place what COVID[-19] protocols will carry over into next year. The board will get a presentation and we’ll make sure our parents and students are aware—coming into July, early August—about what is expected.”
If you are interested in enrolling your child in Lee Virtual School, the online option for the coming year, you’ll need to do so by July 15.