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For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manatee County’s school board room has been closed to the public. Meetings have been broadcast online and on TV but public comments were only accepted by email.
On Thursday, the Manatee County School District has reserved two hours for live public comment on the reopening of schools.
Five locations will be open for people to weigh in on how the school district should handle its reopening. Participants must register in advance and anyone who attends will have their temperature checked upon arrival and must wear a mask.
School Board members will be able to communicate to the public virtually.
Manatee County residents will also hear results of a recent back to school survey. According to the school district, approximately 21,000 Manatee County families have responded.
District leaders and school principals have been discussing the possibilities for providing instruction to students when the next school year begins in August.
Based on those discussions and guidelines, the School District reports it has identified three Back-to-School Plans; a full return to campus, a mix of in-person and online learning, and a continuation of full-time online learning. Anyone who wanted to remain online would have the option, regardless of the district’s final plan.
The Board Workshop is a discussion only – and a decision regarding the reopening of schools will be made at a later date.