Columbia County joins other school districts in delaying school start date

The Columbia County School District released re-opening plans this week. The district has received an increase in calls from parents looking for answers.
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 7:33 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) - North Central Florida school districts are working to finalize their reopening plans as we head closer to the start of school.

The Columbia County School District released their reopening plans this week joining Levy, Bradford and Alachua Counties in pushing back the start date of school.

Assistant Superintendent, Hope Jernigan, said this move for students to start on August 24th gives teachers an extra week to prepare for the return to campus.

“We can do more in that frame of pre-planning with it being a little bit longer, otherwise, we simply weren’t going to be ready at the level we want to be for our children,” said Jernigan.

She said the district has had an increase of calls from parents with questions about the return to campus and online learning.

One of the biggest concerns she hears from parents is the lack of availability of laptops for students learning from home. She says they simply don’t have enough chrome books for every student.

“We are in processes of acquiring more as we get closer to school starting and looking at how the plans are shifting and evolving as the school year goes on,” Jernigan said.

A few extra steps the county is taking to prepare include adding space between desks, schedule changes for fewer transitions and training custodians on ways to keep facilities cleaner.

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