WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — The empty parking lots outside of schools will continue to be empty for a while longer, as Walton County schools pushed back their start date.
The school district has decided to push back their start date from August 10 to the 17, but their teachers will still return August 3.
This new start date is to ensure teachers are well prepared and trained for teaching during this new normal, and for students; to make sure all safety measures are in place before their return.
“We pushed the start date back one week to give our teachers some time for preparation,” said Schools Superintendent Russell Hughes.
Teachers will still be returning on August 3, for two weeks. They will be training on how to operate in this new normal.
“It will be a great time for teachers to be comfortable, be trained, get a feel for some of the practices that we will have to utilize that they’ve never had to utilize before,” said Hughes. “And we get to really start the year off right.”
Superintendent Hughes said safety for staff and students is a priority, but he was surprised 73 percent of parents want their children to return back to brick and mortar classes.
“About 13 percent are saying that they are going to take option three, which is our innovation learning digital academy,” said Hughes. “And the rest are doing our Walton virtual school.”
Although Superintendent Hughes said they are waiting on survey responses from 2,000 more.
“Now we are asking for a semester commitment, one semester,” said Hughes. “But if something happens and we get a hold of this virus, and we get a cure or something like that. Then of course we will all try to seamlessly transition back into a brick and mortar school. Which is our ultimate goal.”
Superintendent Hughes said if parents have questions or concerns, to go directly to the Walton County School District website. There is a text option parents can directly use to speak with Superintendent Hughes or another member of his team.