BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – For the first time, Bradford County parents and students are seeing and learning on Tuesday about three proposed learning options for the 2020-2021 school year.
Option 1 is brick and mortar, or regular school. School will start Aug. 10.
“Obviously the brick and mortar which we feel is the best way to educate students,” said David Harris, Assistant Superintendent Bradford County School District. “We are doing some temp checks currently with some of our programs that are going on in the summer, however, at this time we are not looking to do temp checks when school resumes in August. Masks are optional.”
Option 2 is Bradford Virtual Select. Harris said this option is new. It is virtual school run by Bradford educators.
“We realize not all students are going to be able or feel comfortable returning to school so therefore we are going to create a virtual option where students can, provided they have internet,” Harris said.
With this option, students must do a full semester at a time and have a flexible daily schedule. Students can apply for a district Chromebook
Harris says many students are already familiar with the software used.
Option 3 is full-time MyBradford Virtual School through Northeast Florida Education Consortium also known as NEFEC.
“NEFEC consortium provides, FLVS curriculum to districts and we’re actually able to recapture some of the FTE by using the consortium’s product, which is a FLVS curriculum. However, it’s run through Putnam County and they try to hire our local teachers for that,” Harris said.
With this option, students must do a full semester at a time and have a flexible daily schedule.
TJ McClelland is a Bradford County father. He has a 14-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son who has cystic fibrosis. He said he is not pleased with the options.
“Realistically no. I mean for my children, option two seems to work the best for my family. We’re really in a tough spot, I don’t honestly know what to do,” he said.
Jackquelyne Brown is a Bradford mom of three girls.
“I honestly think that it’s a bad idea to open the schools up,” Brown said. “I’m not understanding why the world is in the process of shutting down again and they want to send the kids to school!”
So what if you pick an option for your child, and you realize it’s not working out, can you switch?
“At this time I would be unprepared to answer that because again we haven’t worked all the final details out,” Harris said. “This just went in front of the board last night, they are still thinking about it, we are still talking about it, it will go in front of the board at the end of the month, and obviously the superintendent and the rest of the cabinet will weigh in on these items as well.”
Harris said he anticipates final approval on the options will come at the July 27 meeting.