St. Johns County School District cancels high school showcase due to COVID concerns

St. Johns County School District headquarters in downtown St. Augustine. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The St. Johns County Programs of Choice High School Showcase scheduled for Thursday was canceled due to concerns over the rise in coronavirus cases, the school district announced.

“This decision is provided as a precautionary measure for the health of the families, faculty, staff and various community partners our school district serves and as an acknowledgment for the potential strain large events could place on the systems served by our schools,” the district wrote.

Superintendent Tim Forson said during a Tuesday school board meeting the decision was made to cancel the popular World Golf Village event because of the increase in cases and because there is so much face-to-face interaction.

COVID-19 cases with students and staff jumped dramatically in Northeast Florida school districts after winter break.

On the last day before winter break, there were 31 students and 15 employees who reported cases in St. Johns County. As of Wednesday, there were 426 student cases and 99 employee cases.

With the cancellation of the event, the district said, a special high school showcase link will become active at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and will remain active until the close of the application process.

The link will be sent in an email and will be available on each high school website homepage. There will also be a link on each school website for access to resources for the various programs of choice and application process, the district said.

“Each high school is still planning to host ‘Academy Nights’ as previously advertised. The high schools will provide on-site precautionary measures for these events. If there are changes to these events, they will be advertised in advance,” the district added. “We appreciate continued community support and understanding as we listen to our community’s needs and concerns and respond accordingly.”

St. Johns County School District said this week it plans to keep its current safety protocols in place — which include optional masking, frequent cleaning and 75% capacity at sporting events — and continue to monitor the case numbers and quarantines.

Forson said the district will evaluate upcoming events to see if any need to be changed or postponed.

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