TAMPA, Fla. — The Hillsborough County School District is working to finalize its plan on how to handle COVID-19 outbreaks this school year.
School leaders will meet with public health officials via conference call on Wednesday.
In the school board meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis said the threshold to close schools because of COVID will likely be determined if there’s 15-20 percent of people at the school in quarantine.
“What we’re going to do when we find a positive case, we’re going to have a verified positive case, working with the Department of Health, we will immediately start the contact tracing, alongside we will send out communications,” said Superintendent Davis.
At the same meeting, several teachers spoke out and said given the current circumstances, they don’t feel safe returning to the classroom and that they were only given two options— return to school or resign/take a leave of absence.
One teacher from Strawberry Crest High School, Ryan Haczynski, said he was denied an E-learning position and his students even started an online petition to allow him to teach from home.
“How can you force people into doing this? Let’s be clear, as much as we're told teachers are volunteering for hybrid or simultaneous teaching, they're being volun-told. There are hundreds of teachers and students who will be effected by this hybrid solution,” said Haczynski.
Right now the district is also waiting to learn more about reopening following the lawsuit against the State. On Monday, a judge ruled in favor of districts like Hillsborough County saying they should have control over when they open classrooms, not the state. The state is appealing that ruling.
Another teacher who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting said she doesn’t think schools are ready to open, either. She said she doesn’t even have the supplies she needs to keep her room clean.
“I have 100 wipes, by the way, the wipes I have aren't actually wipes, they're hand sanitizer in the form of wipes and we've been told we need to cut them into fours so they will last more than 2 days,” said Heidi Glick.
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