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Apparent faculty arrive at Fletcher High School on the first day of shutdown due to COVID-19

First Coast News was at the school as it opened. Some adults entered the school around 6:30 a.m. and many faculty parking spots have cars in them.

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — The first day a school is closed due to COVID-19 in Duval County, adults were seen entering the campus of Fletcher High School Thursday morning

Students at Fletcher began virtual learning Thursday morning. Families can come to the school from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to pick up a laptop for virtual learning.

First Coast News was at the school as it opened. Some adults entered the school around 6:30 a.m. and many faculty parking spots have cars in them.

Duval County Public Schools says teachers were given the choice to teach virtually at school or remotely. DCPS did not know the exact number of teachers who opted to teach in person at the school.

According to DCPS, Fletcher High had five cases on the COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard as of Tuesday, but the district has been informed of 16 additional cases that will be included in the count after the Department of Health confirms them.

"It become apparent that the safety of the kids and the community is what's at stake," said Principal Dean Ledford.

Ledford calls closing the school proactive. He says students are used to the online learning, but it is still a disappointing bump in the road for families, like Jennifer Baez's.

"He just wants to be a senior," Baez said. "He really just he wants to enjoy his senior life. I do commend Principal Ledford for closing down the school as soon as he got wind and realized what was going on." 

The JV and varsity football games that were supposed to happen this week must be rescheduled.

Ledford says he'll announce Monday what the plan will be for students. Right now they're focusing on the task at hand.

"It's more about getting the information about the positive cases that we've had and making sure those students are safe off campus quarantining as well as any students have had contact with them," he said.

Other than Fletcher, the district's COVID-19 tracking dashboard shows five students and six staff tested positive at San Pablo Elementary. That total is double any other school besides Fletcher.