Some Central FL school districts ending hybrid learning options this fall, others still undecided

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Some Central Florida school districts have decided to do away with the learning options created during the pandemic for the upcoming fall semester.

School officials in both Osceola and Lake Counties announced Wednesday that their “hybrid” learning formats won’t be an option next school year.

READ: “I feel like a brand new teacher”: Union seeking bonuses for teachers who taught hybrid classes

The hybrid format allowed students to learn from home online while watching their teacher live in the classroom.

Teachers in Osceola County have welcomed the change.

Lare Allen, President of the Osceola County Education Association, says the virtual option has been a “nightmare” for teachers.

“You’re supposed to be focused on the needs of your classroom at the same time of the needs of the students online,” Allen says. “It’s very difficult to be in two places at once.”

READ: Central Florida districts weighing options for digital learning next school year

The percentage of students learning virtually in Osceola County has dropped since the school year started with 74 percent of them learning face-to-face.

Zulma Candelaria has a child in the 7th grade who’s one of the remaining 26 percent who are digital or virtual learners.

“In the beginning we had challenges, because we had to learn the system,” Candelaria says. “Once he got it, he was able to do it. He loves it actually.”

READ: Osceola County schools announce learning options for next school year

Florida virtual school and Osceola County virtual school will still be available.

No other Central Florida school districts have formally announced what learning options they’ll offer in the fall semester.

Q McCray,

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.