Helpful apps, health recommendations as students return to school in Collier County

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Collier County school bus. Credit: WINK News

As students head back to school in Collier County Tuesday morning, it can be a confusing time before everyone gets the hang of things and back into a routine. Fortunately, several technological tools are available to help keep things in order.

The Collier schools app is a free download from the app store that parents and students can use to check their grades anytime. You can see when there’s a half day or a full day coming up, lunch menus and even a weather icon, so you can see weather alerts from all of the more-than-50 Collier campuses and check if there’s lightning in the area that might affect after-school activities.

Perhaps most importantly is Where’s the Bus, which lets you track your student’s school bus to see if it will be at your stop on time. Besides these practical considerations, we can make sure everyone is not only safe to start the school year, but inspired, too.

“As you go on our Twitter feed, you’ll notice our teachers are active,” said Chad Oliver public information officer for Collier County schools. “So all of our teachers who opt in—we call it the Coalition of the Willing—those teachers who want to tell their classroom’s story through educational social media, our teachers… and so you’ll see a lot of really encouraging and inspiring videos and photos and posts from our teachers in the classrooms every day. It’s like you’re opening windows to the classroom. ”

A family sending their child to in-person learning can they switch to online learning at any time during the school year if the child gets sick and has to miss an extended period of time, since many families wouldn’t feel comfortable sending them back to school. Enrollment for eCollier Virtual Academy is always open, though the District discourages families from going back and forth between in-person and online learning.

Unlike Lee County, Collier did not make a decision to mandate masks in the days before school. Despite this, a release from NCH implores parents to mask up their kids as they head back to school, as COVID-19 cases among pediatric patients have reached numbers Southwest Florida has never seen before. The School District of Collier County also came out with a release Sunday night highly recommending that students wear masks to school, at least at first.

“Based on the spike in Collier County COVID-19 delta variant cases, these medical professionals are highly recommending the use of masks as we start this new school year.,” Oliver said.

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