Over 10,000 St. Johns County students sign up for school-based distance learning

Jiselle Hill, a second-grade student at Timberlin Creek Elementary School in St. Johns County, works on school work in her bedroom. (News4Jax)

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Over 10,000 students in St. Johns County have signed up for school-based distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year, according to figures released by the school district Friday.

As of 4:30 p.m., 10,323 students have enrolled in school-based distance learning, about 24% of the nearly 44,000 public school students in the county. With the deadline to register set for 6 p.m. on Friday, that number could rise.

About 630 students have already enrolled at St. Johns Virtual School with another 800 applications still to be considered, the district said. Last year there were just 151 students at the school. A district spokesman said there is no limit on the number of students that can be accepted to St. Johns Virtual School.

St. Johns County parents had the option to choose school-based brick-and-mortar learning, school-based distance learning, St. Johns Virtual School or homeschooling.

The percentage of students who signed up for virtual learning, nearly 27% of the student population, is about in line with a parent survey the district conducted last month. That survey showed that 69% of parents supported a return to school campuses.

The St. Johns County School District updated its school reopening plans this week following an executive order from the state asking schools to reopen five days a week this fall.

The school board is expected to make a decision about whether or not it will push back the school start date two weeks during a special July 21 meeting.

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