Clay County to launch distance learning today

Clay Counted launched its distance learning for the 39,000 students in the county.

District officials admitted the process has been a learning experience for everyone-- not just students.

Interim superintendent David Broskie said Friday that distribution of Chromebooks and internet-access devices has gone about as well as expected considering the circumstances and the precautions that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to take.

It has been unprecedented period for school districts all over, and especially in Clay County, Broskie said.

“Let me say by, by reassuring parents, and all stakeholders that this is a process,” Broskie said. “We’re not going to turn on a computer at 7:30 [a.m.] on the 31st, and the whole world will change. I tell principals, I say treat this like it’s your first day of school in August. It’s the first day back. And of course, there’ll be some logistical issues that go with such an event in the school system.”

More information for parents on distance learning can be found on the county’s website here. For those in need of Chromebooks, that information can be found here.

Broskie said that he’s heard that access to the internet for some families could still be an issue and that the district remains working on that.

“We understand that internet access is an issue related to home education,” he said. “We have a list of vendors that are giving free internet access, as well as other ideas, such as bubbles zones around schools for internet access.”

Internet access information can be found here.

Among other topics coming out of the Friday briefing:

• Clay County has 20 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday afternooon, two fewer than what it was originally reported.

Florida Department of Health in Clay County Administrator Heather Huffman said on Friday that once the county begins the steps of contact tracing, numbers can either increase or decrease. That’s what happened between Thursday and Friday, when Clay’s number went from 22 to 20.

“Once we realize that they are an actual resident of the other case, we then move that case into the respective county of residency, so you may see numbers go up and then they may be corrected by the end of the day, as numbers get reported later in the day and then you may have those corrections the next morning,” Huffman said.

“So, I wanted to explain that to you how those numbers have been reduced. It’s not that there is another that a case has dropped off and it wasn’t a case; that case got moved simply to another county. So, I wanted to be very cognizant of that.”

• All county parks in Clay with the exception those in the town of Orange Park, remain open until sunset.

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