DeLand, FL - Reopening public schools is going to take a lot of forethought and a lot of work, but it's the right thing to do, according to Dr. Scott Fritz, Volusia County School Superintendent. He agrees with the Governor's statement that 'there is no substitute for a teacher in front of a child.'
Fritz says he is working with a committee made up of a diverse group of people and they will be sharing their recommendations with the School Board at their next regular meeting on June 23. "I do support the idea that we would get back to a brick and mortar approach, that our children would come back, that our staff would come back to our schools. But the logistics for that is, how do you mandate for social distancing? How do you keep our children and our staff safe?" He says he does believe it can be done.
Parents can make the choice for their child to continue virtual learning. Fritz says some parents like and embrace their children learning in that fashion. He said, as a School District, two orientations are offered each week for our families to learn and understand more about Volusia Online, for those families that wish to choose that.
When asked about the possibility of staggering classes, Fritz said the committee has a couple of ideas on keeping everyone social distancing that does not include staggering classes. "Instead of having one lunch, we may extend it to three lunches. We may be doing things like this in elementary schools. We may have the teacher travel to the students rather than have the students travel to the teachers." He said that the logistics will be worked out with the principals to make sure 'we have the safest flow for our students.'
VCS has about $15 million in funds from the CARES Act. Fritz says that money will be used for supporting the students and the staff 's technology needs. As a District, we've distributed thousands of pieces of technology. We'll have to replenish some of that because some of those pieces will come back broken or not in very good working condition, so some of the money will be used for that.
Dr. Fritz said he wants to thank the community for their support and helpfulness in this process. "We all want what's best for our kids and we want what's best for our employees and I've heard a lot of support from people in the community that, if nothing else, I think everybody's realized the value of those wonderful teachers that are in front of our children."