A back to school plan is anticipated to be released for Gainesville City Schools Wednesday, July 15.
During the Gainesville Board of Education meeting on Monday, July 6, Superintendent Jeremy Williams offered a brief overview as to what parents, teachers and students can expect to learn next week.
Although the Gainesville school system is scheduled to start instruction on Aug. 5, Williams said that day will likely shift to accommodate families and employees.
Students with parents or guardians who are uncomfortable having their children return to school will have the option of attending the district’s virtual academy. Williams said more information regarding the virtual academy and how to sign up, will be sent out to families Wednesday, July 7.
Out of the 1,600 people who took the system’s survey about returning to school, Williams said that 12-15% were uncomfortable having their children come back for in-person instruction.
“I think we all know, and we’re very all aware that how we functioned in school in the past cannot be how we function this school year and also in the future,” he said.
Instead of welcoming hundreds of children to schools for open house, the district plans to host “open house acclimation days.” Williams said these designated days will allow students to interact with teachers on a smaller scale before school officially begins.
Although Gainesville is planning for face-to-face instruction, Williams said the system is preparing in the case of transitioning back to a remote environment.
“If we anticipate beginning school face to face, we have to be realistic that at some point we’re going to have to shut down a grade level, a classroom, a school and maybe even a district,” Williams said. “ … What we’re doing is taking instruction that would be happening in a classroom and shifting it online. What we don’t want to do is overburden the families where they’re having to be the ones to teach the kid.”