School Board to meet about recommendations for OCPS’ face-to-face instruction

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The Orange County School Board will host a special meeting to discuss recommendations for OCPS’ face-to-face instruction that’s scheduled to begin Friday, August 21.

The special meeting will take place today, Monday, August 17, at the Ronald Blocker Educational Center, 445 W. Amelia St., Orlando, starting at 4:30 p.m. 

The School Board of Orange County Medical Advisory Committee made the recommendations for OCPS’ face-to-face instruction. Among them are to keep August 21 as the start date of face-to-face instruction for elementary school and voluntary pre-kindergarten programs; but to delay the start date to Monday, Aug. 31 for middle and high schools because of the coronavirus’s higher potential for transmission and a potentially more complicated tracing process.

“Delaying the start date allows time for further reduction in community spread and to assess the experience and resources needed in the event of a potential transmission event in one of the lower grades,” according to a Friday, August 14 letter from Committee Chair Dr. Vincent Hsu to the school board.

Other recommendations outlined in the August 14 letter are the following: 

  • Mandatory use of face masks for all students, allowing for only very rare exceptions that must be approved by the OCPS Medical Officer.
  • Comprehensive training in basic principles of infection control including use of personal protective equipment for teachers and staff with the curriculum to be approved by the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
  • Implementation of a process that prioritizes rapid access to timely testing and contact tracing, coordinated through FDOH.
  • Implementation of appropriate measures for the safety of staff.

The School Board of Orange County Medical Advisory Committee was created to advise the Orange County School Board on best practices for operating the schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Apopka Chief will give an update on the School Board meeting on Facebook and Twitter, as well as in a story in the Friday, August 21, issue.