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Controversy over schools reopening continues in Lee County

Safely Back to School
Posted at 5:05 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 07:18:35-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla –With schools in Southwest Florida set to reopen at the end of August, a big question on many parents minds is what Physical Education classes will look like Both when it comes to social distancing for in-person learners, and for those learning from a distance.

The School District of Lee County tells Fox 4’s Jessica Alpern that a task force is starting to meet this week to develop expectations for virtual PE learners. The task force will also address middle and high school gym classes.

Face-to-face elementary school learners will stay with their class and be with one instructor in their own space during PE. Masks will not be required during those classes or during recess.

The district said social distancing will be at the forefront of all lesson plans. The vast majority of activities will focus on individual skill set teaching, including things like basketball handling.

Here’s the full statement our Jessica Alpern received from The School District of Lee County Assistant Director, Media Relations & Public Information Rob Spicker:

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Statement from School District of Lee County

Safely offering gym class during a pandemic is a challenge districts across our state are currently sorting out. Along with the challenge of keeping so many kids healthy from a distance.

“We’re looking at that lifetime fitness, health-type of activities so that we’ll be able to give those lifetime skills to the families and the children,” said Kelley Griffin, Polk County Elementary Physical Education teacher.

PE teachers like Griffin say lessons will also look at mental health.

But as districts prepare to meet the challenges of social distancing for in-person learners, a peaceful car rally is planned in Lee County Tuesday.

Organized by Lee Educators for Safe Schools, they're pushing for a fully virtual start to the school year, in light of the state education commissioner's emergency order requiring all K-12 districts reopen brick and mortar schools.

The group wants to start the school year fully virtual and reassess the COVID-19 numbers mid-October. Hundreds are expected to attend Tuesday’s car rally in support.