Photos highlight social distancing challenges in Duval schools

Keeping students distanced 'will be an issue for us,' superintendent Greene said Thursday

Keeping students distanced 'will be an issue for us,' superintendent Greene said Thursday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools’ first day of classes had its share of issues, according to Superintendent Diana Greene, and while the district is working to address technical difficulties with Microsoft Teams for virtual learners, social distancing for students learning in-person at schools remains a profound challenge.

News4Jax received dozens of messages and several photos/videos that showed students crowded in large groups and huddled in hallways.

The photos below, taken Thursday by people at Stanton College Preparatory School, show multitudes of students failing to follow social distancing guidelines.

This photo was shared with News4Jax by a person at Stanton College Preparatory School on Aug. 20, 2020.
This photo was shared with News4Jax by a person at Stanton College Preparatory School on Aug. 20, 2020.

“When you’re working with young people, there’s constantly going to be things that we have to tweak, constantly going to have to address issues,” Greene said during a Thursday evening news conference. “Everything is not going to be perfect. We’re going to continue to push for social distancing.”

Greene added that while she observed, and other schools reported, that student compliance with the district’s mask policy was largely satisfactory, social distancing remains a challenge.

“We had most of our schools visited today by district leadership, and the No. 1 thing that they saw was that students were wearing their mask and that they did not have any real issues with students keeping their mask on,” Greene said. “We’re going to have to continue to work with social distancing and that will be an issue for us.”

Under the DCPS reopening plan, secondary students who chose the brick-and-mortar learning option are on a hybrid attendance schedule until Sept. 14. As part of the hybrid schedule, different groups of students attend in-person classes for a certain number of days and utilize remote learning via Duval HomeRoom on the other days.

After Sept. 14, the district plans to have all secondary students who chose the brick-and-mortar option return to full-time, in-person attendance in their schools’ facilities.


About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.