Back to school: Online classes begin for Tampa Bay students during coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Thousands of students across Tampa Bay are heading back to school Monday after an extended break.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, school districts are being forced to continue the semester virtually. Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Hernando, Citrus and Highlands counties all begin online school Monday.

Many districts spent the last week preparing for this new transition, issuing devices to students, and making sure all of the programs and ready for the first day of learning.

“I think our school has done a really good job preparing for Monday,” said Renee Nellenbach, Assistant Principal at Lakewood Elementary School in St. Petersburg.

Online learning is an adjustment for both students and teachers.

“The biggest thing right now is making certain we transform the educational work; moving it from the classroom to the virtual world,” said Hillsborough County Superintendent Addison Davis.

While this will be different for all those involved, educators want to remind parents and students to take it one step at a time.

“It’s a time for flexibility and patience. As for the academic piece, we are still making sure we are using our standards, we are following the pacing guide and we are making sure our students receive what they need to be prepared for next school year,” added Nellenbach.

School districts have listed tech support numbers on their websites to help with both device and online program issues.

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