Bay District Schools approves pushing back start of school and 4th learning option

Back to School

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County parents finally have some answers about how their child will be attending school this fall.

School board members voted Tuesday to delay the start of the Fall term until August 20th, as well as provide an online teaching element.

Bay County students will have a new learning option available when they head back to school on August 20th called Bay Link.

It’s a mix between brick and mortar and virtual schooling.

Bay Link students will still be enrolled at their original school, but will be learning via video lessons live or recorded by their teacher.

“The majority of the counties across the state are doing live and recorded lessons for students to have available for them,” said Assistant Superintendent, Denise Kelley.

Extra assistance is available for Bay Link students upon request, especially for those with special needs.

“Sometimes in person one on one, maybe with a shield or a mask or something,” said Kelley.

Bay District is also requiring face coverings to be worn at schools when you are not able to social distance, but this doesn’t mean for 8 hours each day.

“If the teacher can socially distance the students, then the students will not have to have their masks, the teacher will not have to have theirs,” said Kelley.

District leaders say parents will need to be much more involved if their student is going the online route.

“The expectation is not for students to logon at 7:30, or 9 am and stay logged in until 230 or 3 o’clock. It’s going to be one of those opportunities where if a teacher is doing a lesson and the child is to tune in at 8:30, maybe they tune in from 8:30 to 9:15,” said Kelley.

As far as testing goes, plans are still being discussed. For families that choose Bay Link, the district is coming up with a way to prepare students with the proper materials needed.

“Based on the student need we are going to have to provide as best we can, the needs of the students for technology whether it be connectivity or actual devices,” said Kelley.

The district would like families to decide their student’s learning plan by July 30th.

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