Hillsborough students to continue virtual learning for summer school as leaders discuss fall reopening plans

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County School District Superintendent Addison Davis made several major announcements Wednesday about summer school learning and the possibility of students returning to classrooms in the fall.

“I am announcing today that Hillsborough County will go full virtual for the summer school initiative,” Davis said.

It comes as parts of the United States are slowly reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. The district shuttered schools in March by order of state leaders.

Davis said several programs will be available over the summer for students in all grades – if they qualify for the courses.

But he acknowledged that e-learning is not the most effective way for students to retain information and get the most out of the material.

“The reality is some of our learners will suffer during this e-learning process,” he said.

Davis then announced how the district is planning to begin the 2020-2021 school year in the fall.

“If we have to extend the e-learning, we will be ready,” he said, suggesting that schools could remain closed beyond August, forcing students to continue to learn from home.

Davis said the district is ready for another option, which he described as a “blended model.” It would allow students to learn from home, via e-learning in one week, then return to the classroom for learning the next week. Sets of students would alternate weeks, making it so fewer students would be inside schools at one time.

The third option Davis mentioned was the full implementation of students into classrooms. He said district leaders would ensure the health and safety of students and staff through social distancing procedures and health screenings.

“We should have something by August 1,” Davis said, referring to a plan. “And if we don’t, I can promise you as a civic leader, I will make a decision openly for our community.”

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