Education | August 30th, 2020

Local Schools Prepare to Face COVID-19

By: Sandler Fleurima
Local Schools Prepare to Face COVID-19

As the increase of COVID-19 rises across the country, many people from all over are concerned with the effect it may have on students returning to school. In Leon County, with the numbers continuously increasing, the concerns of students and faculties returning to school are rising as well.

Latonia Thomas, a Florida State University School senior expresses her concerns about returning to school during this pandemic.

“My biggest concern is the virus being more widespread than it is now,” Thomas said. “I fear that I will not be able to enjoy my senior year due to the madness happening in the world today.”

With Florida State University School being K-12, it raises more concerns for Thomas. She expressed how she feels unsure about everyone’s safety on campus during this time.

“If everyone follows the rules we can remain safe, which may not happen because everyone has different viewpoints on the virus,” Thomas said. “We have younger kids on campus which is very risky, especially during this time.”

Doney Eden, an Anatomy & Physiology high school teacher for Leon County Public Schools, also shared his concerns on teachers and students returning to campus. He expresses how he believes that schooling should be remote and not in person.

“There is not a cure nor vaccine out for this virus. I feel like the entire school district or students should be 100% virtual,” Eden said. With academics transitioning, some students are concerned that they may not be able to receive the tools and knowledge needed to be successful because of the virus. However, Eden explains that being taught remotely can actually help students be successful academically.

“Some people are concerned that students will not learn the same way online versus in person. However, there are several successful schools across the nation that teach their students 100% virtual and those students are educationally competitive compared to a student that learns in person. Why? Because those teachers and instructors are trained to effectively teach students online,” Eden said. “If more school districts would focus on training teachers to effectively teach online, we wouldn’t have a problem with students learning better in person versus virtually.”

As an instructor, Eden fears that a student or teacher may contract the virus and become sick. Eden stated that the school will be providing students and faculty with a face mask in the event they do not come to school with one, but with Florida emerging as a national epicenter this measure may not be enough. He expresses how he would not want the school to risk anyone getting sick because the virus is very unpredictable.

“As a Miami native, I had numerous family members and friends that contracted the virus. I already lost two family members and a close friend to this virus. So it’s already taking a mental toll on me. I would hate to see my colleagues, students, or their families get this virus, especially if the virus takes their life,” Eden said.

In the upcoming school year, he plans to implement the coronavirus in his lesson plans. He will teach his students about supplements and vitamins that could strengthen the immune system along with other things that weaken it.

COVID-19 is affecting student’s social interactions amongst their peers. Switching to virtual learning doesn’t allow the same people-building skills students get during in-person classes.

Today, Leon County Public Schools plans to keep a safe environment for all students and faculty. Their goal is to provide students with the best educational experience while taking the necessary steps to make sure safety is a top priority.