Students, parents, and teachers all have questions about what this school year will bring. 2020 has been unprecedented, to say the least, so we did some digging to help break down the plans of school districts in Polk County. What we can all plan for is another year of learning + growing no matter if students are in-person or virtual.
The first day of school (projected to be Aug. 24)will look different this year. So let’s take a look at what we know.
🗣️ Gov. DeSantisspoke about reopening schools on June 12. Gov. DeSantis called for all schools to reopen in the fall and for school districts to allow parents to decide between in-classroom or virtual learning. The governor also said that local districts can make their own decisions on reopening schools.
🗣️ FL Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an order that stated “school districts and charter school governing boards must provide the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school full time have the opportunity to do so.” More information on guidelines about back to school have been recommended bythe Florida Department of Education.
🗣️ Florida Education Association (FEA) – the state’s largest teachers union – disagrees about the decision to reopen brick + mortar schools. The FEA has filed a lawsuit to “to protect health and well-being of students, educators and communities.” Read the lawsuit here.
🗣️ The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics released an 11-page report with recommendations to lower risks of infection to students + teachers. The paper additionally recommended the delay of school for some districts, saying that “coronavirus prevalence will not decrease enough in the next 4-6 weeks to make the benefits of school attendance outweigh the risks.”
🗣️ The CDCannounced on July 23 that it has updated its guidelines to recommend that schools reopen in the fall.
○ COVID-19 cases have increased at two state prisons in Polk County.The Polk Correctional Institution has 28 staff members and 204 inmates with the virus and 41 pending tests. Avon Park Correctional Facility has 36 staff members and 211 inmates who have tested positive for the virus with 163 pending tests. Safety precautions in the facilities include temporary suspension of inmate transfers, a cloth face mask requirement + more. (The Ledger)
○ Gov. DeSantis has extended the FL eviction ban until Sept. 1. This order was put in place on Wednesday and states that tenants will have to pay back rent at some point to avoid eviction, a tenant should get proof in writing if a landlord does not agree on a new payment plan, tenants can still be evicted for non-COVID-19 reasons +tenants should contact their landlord for an extension if they cannot pay after the extension period. (Click Orlando)
○ The Florida Department of Health is urging FL residents to answer phone calls from the phone number 833-917-2880, as calls are part of the state’s contact tracing effort. The calls are about potential COVID-19 exposure. If you’ve been exposed, the department will ask about close contacts and will then monitor you and your contacts in hopes of stopping the spread of coronavirus.
○ Over 6,000 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to roughly 270 colleges in the U.S. The schools with the top cases include University of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida. (New York Times)
○ Today is the last day that educational institutions, nonprofits, communities + state agencies can submit applications for the Rebuild Florida General Planning Support System. A transcript of the overview of the program can be found online and anonline application is available.
○ The head of the Congressional coronavirus oversight panelrequested to see documents from four Republican governors to show documentation of how their states are battling COVID-19. FL, TN, GA + OK were included in this demand and they have until Aug. 12 to respond. (Fox 35 Orlando)
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Lakeland’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
Newly formed Tropical Storm Isaias has been making waves in headlines for the past week + causing meteorologists, weather gurus, and FL residents all ask two questions:
1. Is it going to affect Florida? 2. Wait…how do you pronounce Isaias?
While we don’t exactly have an answer on the first one yet, as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Tropical Storm Isaias – the ninth-named storm of a busy weather season – is expected to come close to FL this weekend, bringing rain + wind. Keep up-to-date with your local weather channel for the latest news. And to answer the second, Tropical Storm Isaias is pronounced “ees-ah-EE-ahs.” The more you know.
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TryThis ○ Asiriously magical event is taking place in downtown Plant City (102 N. Palmer St.) today from 12-7 p.m. In honor of Harry Potter’s birthday, Plant City is hosting a celebration – with wizarding deals + goods(like butterbeer, chocolate frogs, furniture, lotion potion, pumpkin drinks, sorting hat cupcakes + more) from many of downtown’s businesses. There will also be a costume contest, a Quidditch obstacle course for kids + photo-opp at Platform 9 ¾. Face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and other safety precautions are required. ⚡
Watch ○Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. The Nat Geo show – which chronicles the ongoing battle of north vs. south crews for the largest seasonal catch of tuna –features one of Lakeland’s very own, Jason Futch, a mate on the “Fishin’ Frenzy” boat. Dirty Jay, as he’s affectionately known, has appeared in season four, five, and the current season, seven. Thank you Reader Louise N., for schooling us about the Lakeland connection in this show. 🎣 (The Coastland Times)
Job ○Back to the chalkboard. Polk County Schools are set to reopen in a few weeks, and the school district is looking to fill 100 positions before the year begins on the tentative date of Aug. 24. Over 700 people checked in at a job fair that was held earlier this year, but the school district is looking to hire individuals who already live in the state. 🍎 (Fox 13 News)
Health ○ Cancer genetics play a big part in diagnoses + preventive care options – especially for patients with a family history of breast cancer. Meet Dr. Vanessa Prowler– the Fellowship-trained breast surgeon in the area who specializes in cancer genetics.Read more about her story here.Ⓟ ○Skip the supplement aisle. Tell Care/of about your diet, health goals, and preferences and their team of nutritional experts will send tailored vitamins, collagen + more right to your door. Take their quiz to get started. Ⓟ
LALVotes ○Do you know who has the best buns in town? How about where to find a solid piece of ‘za? Our friends at Haven Magazine + Lkld Haven Magazine are hosting their first-ever Best of LKLD awards. Today is the last day to vote for your favorite food businesses, the best patios in town, etc. Winners will be announced in the September issue of the magazine.
TheWord ○DOM (Days On Market). The amount of days a real estate propertyhas been listed on the market. Historically, the number of DOMs played a big role in the success of selling a home. Before the pandemic, 30+ DOM was considered a red flag, but since COVID-19, that has changed.Here’s how.Ⓟ