As school districts throughout Florida and Georgia grapple with how to safely reopen their campuses during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s no surprise that people have questions.
These questions run the gamut — Will face masks be required for students and teachers? How can teachers be certain their classrooms provide a safe and clean learning environment? What happens if a student who has been at school tests positive for COVID-19?
With so much uncertainty swirling around back-to-school plans, News4JAX wants to be your most trusted resource when it comes to what’s going on in our community’s schools, whether that means a Zoom call or a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom.
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That’s why we launched Facing The Fall, a campaign to provide answers to the questions that concern students, parents and teachers. We built a newsletter around it to keep you informed. It’s also why we’re holding a series of virtual town halls starting with one on Thursday.
Hosted by Bruce Hamilton and Joe McLean, Thursday’s town hall will feature a panel of guests that includes Duval County Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, Duval Teachers United President Terrie Brady and Rebecca Cardona with Teamsters Local 512, which represents bus drivers.
Thursday’s town hall kicks off at 11 a.m., so log on to News4JAX.com to follow along live. We also invite you to take part by sharing questions with us in real-time. More on that in a moment.
For the past month, we’ve been collecting your back-to-school questions. Since then, we’ve narrowed the more than 300 submissions we’ve received down into a list of questions that we’ll discuss on Thursday.
Interested in a bigger role? You’re welcome to join our live chat so you can submit questions during the town hall. If your question is chosen, our hosts will ask it during the event. You’ll need a News4JAX Insider account, so sign up for one if you haven’t already done so.
If you can’t make it to the town hall, don’t sweat it. Afterward, we’ll post a Q&A on our website along with an on-demand version of the virtual event that you can watch it on your own time.
Next week we’ll hold a second town hall, this time for St. Johns County schools. That event is set for 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Panelists include Superintendent Tim Forson, St. Johns Education Association President Michelle Dillon and Melissa Kledzik, director of school health services.
We’re also looking for voices from the community for that event. If you’re a teacher, parent or staffer who wants to participate in the town hall, send us an email — firstname.lastname@example.org.