Thousands of students across Central Florida not attending distance learning

Thousands of students across Central Florida not attending distance learning
Some Orange County school employees are returning to work on Monday. (WFTV.com News Staff)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of students across Central Florida haven’t logged into class since the pandemic started and distance learning was underway.

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In Orange County Public Schools, teams are working to find more than 4,200 students, or about 2%, who haven’t logged on or submitted assignments.

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Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said she worries it’s more than a lack of devices and internet keeping some students from the classroom.

“Quite frankly, we are now looking toward truancy for some of those children,” Jenkins said.

Some truancy officers may find many reasons for student absence including they’ve moved, their contact information has changed, or parents may not know their children haven’t been attending, or they don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

Or that the families are on the brink of financial disaster.

“They may not be able to invest as much time with (students) on (their) reading program, on my math problems because it simply cannot be a priority in some households where we are struggling economically,” Jenkins said.

In Marion County, administrators are still trying to make contact with 3% of its students, or about 1,300 kids.

Flagler schools said they’ve made contact with every student, but only 1% haven’t turned in a single assignment.

In Lake County, about 1% of students have never logged on.

Seminole County is in the process of finalizing its data.