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All-virtual start to school year ‘unfeasible,’ DCPS board chairman says

School board leader had considered filing a resolution for all students to spend first 9 weeks of academic year online

Duval County School Board Chairman Warren Jones.
Duval County School Board Chairman Warren Jones. (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In response to demonstrations by teachers and parents on Monday near downtown Jacksonville, school board chairman Warren Jones told News4Jax he was briefly considering an effort to move all classes to virtual instruction for at least the first nine weeks of the fall semester.

Jones said he was looking at requesting a new waiver from the Florida Department of Education’s emergency order which requires all school districts to provide an in-person learning option to all students five days a week.

The chairman told News4Jax on Tuesday that he will not be following through with the request, citing “so many moving parts” as the reason the full-virtual strategy is not feasible.

Jones said not all students will have immediate access to the technology required for distance learning.

The school district has submitted its current reopening plan to the state and it is pending approval.

Teachers and parents have been protesting the school district’s decision to go back to face-to-face instruction for part of the school week during demonstrations and public comment of school board meetings.

Data from the Florida Department of health this week seemed to exacerbate parents’ concerns.

It shows that coronavirus cases among kids in Duval County are up 62% in the last two weeks.