Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Orange County Public Schools' Medical Advisory Committee urges Florida to extend virtual learning

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 4:50 PM

  • Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Orange County Public Schools' Medical Advisory Committee sent a letter to Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Wednesday, strongly urging that Orange County's schools be allowed to continue with virtual education as an option through the balance of the 2020-21 school year.

The School Board here in Orange County established the Medical Advisory Committee back in July, with 10 members – from areas like nursing, infectious disease, emergency medicine, developmental-behavioral pediatrics and nursing – to advise on district policy as the coronavirus pandemic continued in Florida. And as coronavirus numbers rise throughout the county, this committee is strongly on the side of virtual learning staying on the table, believing it to be "a medical necessity for many of our students, especially those who have underlying medical conditions that would place them at high-risk."

Florida's Department of Education issued an Emergency Order for the fall semester of this year allowing schools to use online learning, as long as some option for in-person education was also in place. But the state has yet to issue any new guidelines or recommendations for the spring semester, starting in January.

"We believe that having a virtual school platform for the entire 2020-2021 academic year is a medical necessity for many of our students, especially those who have underlying medical conditions that would place them at high-risk for significant morbidity and mortality from COVID-19," said the committee in their letter to Corcoran. "It is also an academic necessity given that, as the spring semester begins, we still anticipate requiring periods of quarantine or isolation as our students and faculty are exposed to COVID-19."

As of this writing, there has been no response from the DOE or Corcoran. Read the rest of the letter here.

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation