Amid persistent COVID-19 anxiety, a June 2020 Poll in St. Johns County, Florida shows lingering doubt about school reopening plans.
The recent spike of COVID-19 cases in many states, including Florida, has continued to cast a cloud of uncertainty over school re-openings next month, despite the federal mandate to “open or risk losing funding.” Parents in St. Johns County, Florida, located in the Northeast part of the state, were asked a series of questions in June as part of a county-wide polling effort. The results of the poll can be found here. Nearly 30% of parents are uncomfortable sending their students to school in the Fall and more than 50% say, “we won’t be riding a school bus” if they do attend.
The opinion poll highlights one of the biggest issues facing the country – weighing the costs and benefits of school re-openings. Often it becomes a politically-charged debate, neglecting the voice of teachers and educators. For those in favor of full-time reopening, it’s believed the cost of students missing any more class after last school year is greater than the risk of further COVID-19 spread. For those opposed, the issue is often more than just about health concerns. Parents are asking themselves, “why risk our health as a family for place-based school when we can find a suitable alternative at home that gives us more flexibility and independence?”
Amy C., the mother of an 8th grader in Florida recently shared her story with us. “Before the pandemic my daughter was failing in school, despite several interventions with her teachers. We started home-learning at the same time as everyone else and we discovered it was a much better fit for our family. Our daughter is thriving now that she is schooling from home and we plan to continue in the Fall. It became very clear to us how much time was wasted in public school and our family loves not being tied to the school calendar any longer.”
The Importance of Teachers
One of the most important lessons we can learn from the 2019-2020 school year is that home-learning without the proper guidance can lead to failure. Even one of the leading innovators in online learning resources, Sal Khan (Founder of Khan Academy), has recently focused his efforts on bringing more teachers and tutors into online learning through his schoolhouse.world project.
Citizens High School has been a leader in teacher-led distance learning models for four decades. Our regionally and nationally accredited high school diploma program features more than 200 courses to choose from with a caring faculty team composed of subject-matter experts. Citizens Chief of Academics, Dr. Jennifer Blalock says, “Our faculty is there to not only ensure that competency in each subject is achieved but to also provide the emotional support and encouragement students need to feel connected and inspired. It is the main reason we’ve maintained a perfect 5-star rating on Google from students and parents.”
In addition to having a world-class faculty to assist students and their parents, Citizens offers students the flexibility to learn at their own pace – and on their own schedule. Students can start their school year at any time and advance to higher grades at their pace of completion, not when the school system tells them they can. Students of Citizens High School that decide to return to their local school have the security of knowing their credits will count towards their high school graduation and college admission requirements because Citizens is regionally and nationally accredited.
Parents all over the country like those in St Johns County are facing tough decisions about what to do this Fall with the uncertainty of COVID-19, school re-openings and having to wear face-masks all day at school. Citizens High School online gives parents the choice to create a faculty-led, custom academic plan for their students that can be done anywhere at any time. By eliminating school-system-dependence through enrollment at online schools like Citizens, more parents will regain control over their families’ health, quality of education, and have clear answers about whether or not they will have to put their students on a school bus this Fall.