St. Johns County schools look to expand online options amid COVID-19 closures

Superintendent says situation is fluid but they will be overcautious as much as possible

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. Johns County Superintendent Tim Forson said the district is taking precautions to keep students safe, extending Spring Break by a week and looking at extending remote and online learning options.

St. Johns County, a district of about 43,000 students, began Spring Break on Monday.

“This is not our area of expertise, so we need to follow the lead of the experts and in fact make sure we are overcautious to some degree in order to manage this situation the best we can,” Forson told “The Morning Show” on Monday. “We’re going to move up against the back end of our calendar. So with things like testing, you can prolong testing for a period of time. You can delay it as you need to, but at some point if you’re not careful we’re going to move testing outside the window of the calendar. So I think as we move forward, we will respond however we need to and we’ll do whatever is right for children."

Middle and high schools currently use Schoology as an online communication platform. They hope to utilize this more if the shutdown remains.

For elementary schools, the district is looking at hybrid solutions featuring online learning and packets to help younger students stay engaged while focusing on reading development and math context and skills.

The district is also putting a plan together to provide breakfast and lunch for students at multiple sites next week.

“Sometimes it seems difficult, it’s tough on families. It’s tough on the community as a whole. But the reality is being safe, being careful is the most important thing we can do right now so that we can end this as soon as possible in our country,” Forson said.

For the most updated information with the district, go to https://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/.

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