Orange County

Orange County teachers say revised plan needed before returning to classroom as COVID-19 cases rise

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Orange County School District is moving closer to reopening its doors within weeks for summer school.

But the teachers union says that, given the rise in COVID-19 cases, the decision is endangering lives.

Read: Florida reports 58 COVID-19 deaths, including 8 in Central Florida, more than 6,000 new cases statewide

The school district said it is only opening for two weeks in July, on the request of parents of special needs students who say their children need face-to-face contact over distance learning.

The teachers union called the move irresponsible and dangerous.

On Tuesday, the Orange County Teachers Union pressed for hours on exactly how the staff and students will be protected when the school year begins this fall, as well as for summer school, which is days away.

The district said no decision has been made regarding the fall, and that discussion will continue in a workshop next week with county health officials.

Read: Reedy Creek firefighters voice concerns over coronavirus policies compared to other districts

In mid-June, the union and the school district agreed on some ground rules for returning. But since then, cases have doubled on a daily basis.

The union said it wants a revised plan that reflects the rise in cases and follows all CDC guidelines.

Union President Wendy Doromal said during the union call that summer school should be out of the question.

“We’re proceeding with a very sloppy plan that endangers students considering the rise in cases,” she said. “It seems very dangerous, very risky and you need to revisit it.”

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School psychologists are still set to return to work tomorrow. They’ve been told they can stay home, but only if they use their own sick time.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.