More than 18K Orange County students switch to in-person learning as new semester begins

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange and Volusia county schools returned from winter break Tuesday.

In Orange County, more than 18,000 students made the switch to in-person leaning.

Adding 18,000 students will likely pose some challenges along the way.

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The newest students are leaving the remote life behind and need to adapt again.

Masks and social distancing are in full swing.

“We’ve asked parents to prepare our children. Our younger students especially should have been practicing wearing a face mask because that is still mandatory,” said Superintendent Barbara Jenkins.

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Parents are also asked to bring a backup mask.

Schools across the board have stocked up on all the necessities.

“We’ve got safety supplies in every classroom. We space them apart as much as possible in the classrooms,” she said.

With all the pandemic precautions, Jenkins is aware there will once again be a learning curve.

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“I believe the greatest issue is around making sure our cafeteria and our lunch times are covered well because we have more students and they have to take their masks off,” Jenkins said.

Many parents may be wondering if their child will have the same teacher. In some cases, they will. In other cases, it was simply not feasible, meaning some students are entering a new classroom with a new teacher, equipped with a mask and sanitizer.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.