Marion County – Marion County Public Schools’ update for April 22, 2020, includes the following actions taken related to COVID-19:
· Per the governor’s order, distance learning continues through June 1, the last instructional day for the 2019-2020 school year in Marion County Public Schools. Teachers and students continue interaction, assignments, and activities through this date. School campuses remain closed to the public.
· Camp Kiwanis, a 72-year Marion County tradition, is canceled this summer for safety reasons. Because this camping experience puts 400+ students in close quarters over four week-long camps, safe social distancing is not possible. Campers with deposits on file have already been contacted and offered refunds.
· Discussions continue regarding summer school. Students typically attend by invitation only due to academic progress or credit recovery to graduate on-time. This year’s programs will likely be virtually based. Extended School Year (ESY) will also be offered on a virtual basis to students with exceptional needs. Summertime driver’s education classes have been canceled because safe social distancing is not possible. More details on summer school programs will be announced in the coming weeks.
· Current school year enrollment is being handled on a case-by-case basis with the School Choice office. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year including VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) and kindergarten students is postponed as long as schools are physically closed. Once schools reopen, enrollment must be completed with a mandatory appointment at school. More details will be announced once schools physically reopen to the public, currently not before May 4.
· MCPS employee evaluations have been canceled for the 2019-2020 school year.
· Class of 2020 graduation events have been postponed; however, MCPS leaders are committed to recognizing seniors in appropriate ways. Details to come.
· School administrators are discussing year-end activities to help students, teachers, parents, and families bring closure to this school year.
· With so many students online for distance learning, additional Internet safety resources include:
o Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org/) and their “What Is…?” video series for parents
o Netsmartz (www.missingkids.org/NetSmartz) has resources for students of all ages and their parents
o To help younger children better understand COVID-19, a new “Dave the Dog” book is available to download free of charge at nursedottybooks.com/dave-the-dog-is-worried-about-coronavirus-2/.
o Additional distance learning resources include www.fldoe.org/em-response/distance-learning.stml and www.flvs.net/community.
· “Parking Lot Wi-Fi” continues at Belleview Middle, Dunnellon High, Forest High, Fort McCoy School, Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks, Lake Weir Middle, North Marion High, North Marion Middle, Vanguard High, and West Port High. This free service is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m-7 p.m. Users simply drive into the parking lot, log in, and access learning materials online. This service is provided through a partnership with the City of Ocala and its fiber network operation.
· “Grab & Go” meal service continues its fifth week of serving. Today, 5,240 students received 10,480 breakfast and lunch meals. Since March 24, the district has delivered and handed out 204,923 meals. Click here to see updated delivery sites including 21 schools that prepare and deliver to 140-plus locations. Families can call 211 or text “FoodFL” to 877-7877 for their nearest serving location. This program serves ALL children 18 and under regardless of whether they walk or ride a bicycle, bus, or car to school and will continue Monday-Friday through June 1.