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Anticipation mounts as Hillsborough School Board decides on start date

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) -It’s decision day for the Hillsborough County School Board.

On Thursday, the board will decide if the 2020-2021 school start date should be pushed back by two weeks, a recommendation by Superintendent Addison Davis.

Davis suggested to allow students to return to classrooms on Aug. 24. The expected start date is Aug. 10, unless changed by the school board.

Parents are concerned about sending their kids back to school amid a pandemic.

“Our family is firmly in the e-learning, mainly because of my husband and I health condition,” said Jennifer Burton, whose son is headed into the 3rd grade. “I expect we will do this for a full year. Part of me is a little bit hopeful that maybe a vaccine or some kind of solution that will make us feel more comfortable returning to face to face learning.”

Parents were surveyed by the district about sending their kids back to school. Around half who responded decided to opt for e-learning beginning in August.

8 On Your Side got a hold of the district’s Declaration of Intent. Roughly 115,000 people were surveyed and around 56,000 students will return to the classroom. Some 48,000 will use e-learning. Others decided on virtual school.

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that students and teachers who are concerned should be allowed to work remotely.

“To our students, you are the future of Florida,” he said. “We can best fight the virus by having a healthy, functioning society, and that especially includes our schools. Let’s not let fear get the best of us.”

The Hillsborough County School Board is slated to vote on the date change at a meeting that begins at 3 p.m., the district said.

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