Lee Schools "Pandemic Response Task Force" to meet Tuesday

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 10:13:45-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- As coronavirus numbers continue to climb in Florida, The Lee County School District said it’s still pushing forward with planning for a return to schools come Fall.

The Pandemic Response Task Force will hold a special meeting Tuesday. This is the task force charged with developing a plan for Lee County Pre-K through 12th grade students in the Fall.

Tuesday’s meeting is to review final recommendations before administrators present a final plan. That presentation will happen at a school board workshop is scheduled for Wednesday.

The school district said that the board will not vote on the plan, but that with their support they will begin to implement it. The presentation will combine the task force recommendations, parent surveys, health guidelines and community feedback.

The proposal suggested having K-6th grade students return in person and spend the majority of their day in the same classroom with the same kids. It proposes having 7th-12th graders return in-person two days a week. The other three days, they would continue learning virtually.

A fall return to school has been a controversial topic among parents, especially as COVID-19 numbers in Florida continue to rise.

Some said they are on board with sending kids to class, including one Cape Coral mom whose son is about to start kindergarten.

“Kids need to be in school. It's not just for their education purposes, but mental and emotional reasons children need to be in school,” said Sierra Szalay, Cape Coral.

But others said they're just not sure yet, including one parent who has both an incoming senior and an incoming fifth grader.

“I can have him home, but I would rather send him, but I'm just not sure how safe that will be because it's not clear,” said Gabriella Pelissari, Cape Coral.

The threat of COVID-19 recently forced Lee County schools to cancel its in-person graduation ceremonies at Hertz Arena, saying it was due to the recent spike in cases. Yet planning for a Fall return to class continues.

Tuesday’s task force meeting is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Then the plan will be presented at the board meeting, happening Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.