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St. Johns County's draft back to school plan includes days in virtual classrooms

Students will be divided into groups, one will be in a classroom Monday and Thursday, the other Tuesday and Friday. Everyone will virtually learn Wednesday.

This fall, students in St. Johns County are going to be spending less time in a physical classroom and more days in a virtual one than in a typical school year.

First Coast News has obtained a draft chart showing how students attending schools in the St. Johns County School District could be rotated through a staggered schedule.

Credit: First Coast News

Parents like Tricia Booker aren’t thrilled with the idea of more virtual learning.

“Parents cannot home school," she said. "Parents have jobs you know, they have stuff to do.”

Booker has three children in the school system. The St. Johns County School Board is proposing students spend three days virtually learning when school resumes in the fall.

“I do not have the ability to teach high school math. I literally cannot do it,” Booker said.

St. Johns County School Board Chair Beverly Slough confirmed middle and high school students and teachers will be separated into two groups and alternate days they are physically in the classroom.

She said it is a "draft plan, which has not been approved as yet," and outlines various solutions based on the level of coronavirus infections.

However, a St. Johns County middle school teacher said there was a meeting held with other teachers and board members, where people discussed one group will go to school Monday and Thursday, the second Tuesday and Friday, and Wednesdays everyone will learn from home.

When asked what her children think, Booker said, "They’re sad as well. My kids love school.”

Overall, Booker doesn’t think the draft plan is fair.

“I’m thinking about the parents who can’t stay home, the essential workers who have young kids, what are they going to do? You can’t leave you kid for hours and hours on end," she said.

Booker does think there could be some benefits to the new plan by giving an opportunity for teachers to revamp their curriculum to better educate students.

She is asking the school board to think outside the box and to make this a better learning experience for students.