Return to School

  • After reviewing return-to-school plans from districts around Florida and other states, surveying families and staff, consulting with local healthcare professionals and reviewing guidance from the Florida Department of Education, Alachua County Public Schools has developed a DRAFT plan for the reopening of schools in the fall of 2020.

    The plan outlines strategies that will be implemented depending on the community spread of the virus—no spread, minimal/moderate spread and significant spread. According to the Alachua County Health Department, Alachua County is currently in the minimal/moderate spread category, although that could change.

    The plan also offers families different educational options ranging from in person instruction to a Digital Academy to enrollment in the Alachua eSchool. Under the Digital Academy option, students would receive individualized instruction at home, including live lessons. Students would be expected to be engaged in digital learning following their typical school schedule—for example, 7:45 a.m. to 1:52 p.m. for most elementary schools.

    Students enrolled in Alachua eSchool would receive virtual instruction from eSchool teachers which allows for more flexibility, particularly in terms of a schedule. Alachua eSchool has been in place for several years and currently serves about 3000 full- and part-time students.

    More information on all options will be provided to all families during the week of July 6.

    Before this plan is finalized, the district will continue to gather input, which will include surveys of families and staff. The plan will be discussed at the School Board of Alachua County Workshop on July 8 at 2 p.m. Details about that meeting, which will be held online and will be open to the public, is now available here. In the meantime, citizens can submit their input to returntoschool@gm.sbac.edu.

    The goal is to have the plan finalized by July 15. The district plans to reopen schools to students on August 10.

    This pandemic is obviously a very fluid situation. The district remains in constant contact with local healthcare professionals to determine the best way to provide a high-quality education and other vital services while promoting the health of our students, staff and families.