JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In a slight return to normalcy, school resumes for Duval County public school students next week, but not in their classrooms.
In an attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus lessons are moving online with students and teachers connecting from home through a new program called Duval Homeroom.
Parents who spoke to News4Jax on Thursday said it will be a challenge. They weren’t expecting to have to find and pay for child care for the foreseeable future.
Some of the parents dealing with this unexpected expense have been out of work because of COVID-19.
Parents, like Christine Devone, who works as a medical health professional worry about the unexpected financial strain it will put on her family and others.
“I have not been at work,” she said. “This is my first week back at work. But we also closed down to for safety. I know some of the schools are providing food but still, you have a lot of kids that need certain things that’s one of the problems. The other problem is the parents being out of work we don’t have the income to provide what we need to provide for the kids and also take care of the bills."
She and all Duval County parents are being asked to fill out an online survey asking if their children need a laptop or if they have Wifi access. The district said Thursday that hot spot devices that offer free high-speed internet access are still available to qualifying students.
Starting Monday morning, elementary grade instructional packets will be available online on Duval Homeroom. They will also be available to pick up at elementary schools beginning next week and will be distributed at bus stops.
DCPS says the schedule of bus stop times and locations will be posted on Duval Homeroom when the site launches Monday morning on dcps.duvalschools.org.
Parents like Virginia worry about the logistics.
“I think it’s going to be much harder for some than others,” she said. “I’m working from home as much as I can but then making sure that he’s going to be on a schedule and get his schoolwork done that’s going to be difficult.”
Here’s what’s important to do now: get the survey done, especially if you don’t have a laptop or wifi access. Families who can’t complete the survey online are asked to call 904-348-5200.