Editor’s Note: Orange County Public School Board member Melissa Byrd released the following statement about virtual learning for students in August:

“As the start of school approaches, we have continued to look for solutions that will accommodate parent, student and teacher needs. It remains challenging, and as promised, plans continue to be fluid.

OCPS District 7 Board Member Melissa Byrd

This morning, we were approved by the Florida Department of Education to designate Distance Learning Days from August 10-20 (nine days) where all students registered for the Face-to-Face or LaunchED@Home instructional models will be on the LaunchED platform from home. These will be instructional days that include many of the typical exercises at the beginning of a school year and standard instructional time.

The nine days will provide opportunities for all staff and students to become comfortable with the LaunchED platform, as it will be our default should we need to pivot from face-to-face during the pandemic. Teachers can also establish communications with parents and students as we work out any problems and answer questions. We believe it is a win/win for families, students and staff.

This adjustment means:

The original approved school calendar is in place, with students starting virtually on Aug. 10. Teacher preplanning will begin July 31 as previously scheduled.

This adjustment does not require the shifting of planning days or adding instructional minutes to the day as some districts have creatively agreed upon.

August 21st will still be the first day that students in the face-to-face model report to their campus, having already completed the nine days virtually. This date was included in our Optional Innovative Reopening Plan.

OCVS students will start school on August 10th but are otherwise not impacted.
There will be no delay or adjustments to employee compensation, since the payroll calendars will be unaltered.

Schools will be communicating with families in need of devices and hotspots. Additional information will be provided to teachers regarding preplanning training and activities. Again, plans remain fluid so your understanding is appreciated.”


  1. Terrible Leadership. The parents decided that 70% wanted to return face to face because the risk, the mortality and morbidity for children is close to ZERO. Additionally, the positive numbers from the DOH for children have been purposely erroneous for over a month with the intention to disrupt learning and create fear. Let the 30% who are fearful log their kids in online on the 10th. Additionally, NOT 1 CHILD WITH ONLINE LEARNING SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY. (70% wanting face to face is from 50% no vote= face to face+45% of respondents voting for face to face; Even AFTER the survey was slanted to influence a virtual class outcome)


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