1,500 students return to in-person schooling after Bay Link option ended

Back to School

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District School Board Members voted to do away with the Bay Link learning option, and that ruling went into effect on Tuesday, now 1,500 students have returned to campuses across the district.

“In a way, it’s like the first day of school.”

Many of the students now transitioning from Bay Link to brick and mortar schooling haven’t been on campus since last March.

Some chose to continue learning virtually. That alternative was Bay Virtual School.

“I did talk to Bay Virtual and homeschooling and they have around 1,200 students currently that they are getting onboarded, so it’s been a smooth transition but also it’s been a new day,” said Deputy Superintendent, Denise Kelley.

For those staff or students needing to quarantine, their class materials can be found online on ‘Canvas’. School leaders say they prepared all of the classrooms for the influx of students.

“If they need more hand sanitizer, more cleaning products, if they need more equipment., then the principals have been told to reach out to us and let us now,” said Kelley.

With nearly 96 percent of students enrolled in brick and mortar schooling now, a COVID-19 surge is a possibility. However, Bay District Staff say no one has gotten the virus from any of the classrooms.

“It’s been exposures outside of the classroom that has been brought in, students coming to school with some minor symptoms and upon testing realizing that they are positive,” said Kelley.

Kelley says there will be more accurate enrollment numbers by the end of the week as all of the schooling transitions are finalized.

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