It’ll be back to the classroom for students in two Bay Area districts this fall. Both Manatee and Pasco school officials say they will not offer remote local learning as an option initially created in response to the pandemic.
District leaders in Pasco say the majority of their students have already returned to in-person learning, and worry that virtual learners enrolled in the 'MySchool Online' virtual platform are falling behind academically.
"Kids are not being successful and its very problematic because this is going to impact their academic performance for years to come so we really want to get kids back to brick and mortar, back into classrooms and in front of great teachers where they can learn," said Pasco Superintendent Kurt Browning.
Pasco announced the change Tuesday. Browning explained the MySchool Online platform was never intended to be a permanent learning option.
The district will continue to offer Pasco eSchool, which it has used since 2009 to offer a home-based learning system where students can complete assignments at their own pace.
Manatee County sent a letter home to parents just before spring break announcing the elimination of their virtual platform this fall.
Thousands of educators have been vaccinated against COVID-19 thanks to a federal mandate that opened up eligibility to all school workers in early March.
Other Bay Area school districts say they aren’t yet ready to make an announcement on whether or not they’ll retain their virtual school options this fall. Representatives from the Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota school districts said they are still assessing their need for the online programs.