PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Children in St. Lucie County will have a few more weeks of summer.
St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent announced Monday that the district will delay the start of the academic year by two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The school year had been scheduled to begin Aug. 10. The first day of school for students will now be Aug. 24.
"The additional two weeks gives time for the conditions in the county to improve and additional time for staff to finalize preparations for the school year," Gent said. "Our No. 1 priority is to return to school safely."
Parents were given three options from which to choose for the return to school during the 2020-21 academic year. The choices are for students to return to in-person classes, attend classes via distance learning or attend the Mosaic Digital Academy, which requires a one-year commitment.
Several factors contributed to the decision to delay the start of school, including the establishment of general protocols for the safe reopening of campuses, the delivery of personal protective equipment and the deployment of laptops for students who will attend classes virtually.
"There's probably going to be more teacher training needed this year than ever before because almost 40% of our students are going to go online," Gent said.
The district is working on a revised calendar to accommodate the delayed start to the school year.