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With spring break extended, some Duval parents worry about how their children will eat

“I mean, this just hit us like a bomb,” one grandparent said.

File photo
File photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Schools will get an extra week added to spring break following the impact of the coronavirus.

Dr. Diana Greene said schools will resume on March 23. The district also plans to sanitize the schools during the break.

Parents and teachers who spoke with News4Jax said they think it’s a good idea to make sure students and staff are safe.

But some parents are worried about feeding their kids all week because their students rely on free and reduced lunches.

Laura Bassetti said her three grandchildren depend on eating free meals at school.

“To know that my grandkids are going to school and they’re not going without is the biggest relief any parent or grandparent can have,” she said. "It’s very concerning because it wasn’t something that we could have foreseen. I mean, this just hit us like a bomb.”

Greene said the district is still figuring things out and is considering reaching out to local organizations to help provide food to students while school is closed.

If the district decides to close schools longer than just an additional week, Greene said it will look into options for online classes.

A teacher who asked to remain anonymous said it could be difficult because some of her students don’t have access to computers.

“If students do not have access to the internet and a computer at home their only option is to go to a public library which right now are closed," the teacher said.

Bassetti said she trusts the district will do what’s best for the students.

“Yes, this is a crisis, but we need to pull together as a community and make sure that we work together so that these kids are taken care of," she said.

The district said they don’t have any known coronavirus cases. It is asking teachers and students who travel out of the country to isolate for 14 days.

Greene said she recommends pay periods continue as normal.

During the news conference, the superintendent also said the district will be working through the weekend to figure out options for parents who can’t afford childcare.


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