Tampa Bay schools see an uptick in on-campus learning

By The Numbers

Photo courtesy: Manatee County Schools

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been over a month since more than 1.2 million students returned to some form of school in Florida.

Now, many parents are changing their mind about either e-learning or traditional learning.

WFLA.com’s Kelsey Sunderland reached out to all of the 10 school board districts in the Tampa Bay to find out how parents are feeling about sending their children to school, more than a month after students returned to the fall semester.

Of the three school districts that responded to the request for information, only two provided the data.

By October, the Pasco County School District experienced more than a 22% increase in on-campus learning since the fall 2020 semester began, while Polk County reported nearly a 21% increase in traditional learning.

The same data from Hillsborough County Public Schools is only available for individual schools, according to spokesperson Erin Maloney.

“The reason for the fluctuation is that some schools have space and flexibility within their master schedules to bring students back to school or put them back into eLearning, and some do not have the flexibility,” Maloney said.

Even with a slow increase of positive cases in schools, multiple local districts are revisiting the topic for parents who now may want to change their students’ learning choice.

Here’s how many school-related cases were counted in each school district by Oct. 12:

“Our schools are currently collecting information from parents as to those students who want to change their modality of instruction moving forward,” said Manatee School District spokesperson, Michael Barber. “We have a school board meeting tomorrow evening where some of this information will be discussed, but the deadline for parents to inform their schools of their choices for their students is not until 5 p.m. Wednesday.”

The most recent data from the Florida Department of Health found that the statewide positivity rate for new cases is 4.28%, making Sunday the sixtieth straight day below 10% positivity of new cases.

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