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Parents concerned another COVID outbreak could happen as Polk Co. students return to classrooms

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 17:18:53-04

BARTOW, Fla.  — More than 100,000 students returned to the classroom in Polk County Tuesday.

Many parents were eager to drop off their kids to school, but some were a little apprehensive, after learning that several staff members at Spessard Holland Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19.

The school opened its doors for the first time, since being shut down after eight staff members contracted COVID-19 last week.

Staff were seen on campus wearing masks on the first day, but there were several students without one.

The school held virtual and drive-thru orientations last week, as a deep cleaning took place. Still, one parent believes the school reopened too soon.

“I think they should’ve kept the school closed for a little bit to make sure everything was okay before the first day of school, but I mean hey there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Sheree Jones.

Another parent is concerned an outbreak could happen again but believes in-person learning is best for students.

“The kids still got to learn, and I think it’s better to have the one-on-one with the teachers versus the virtual, because virtual is kind of hard with their attention span. But it was a little tough, but I think it will be all right,” Donald Samson said.

While masks are not mandatory, the district is strongly encouraging them.

Schools like Valleyview Elementary in Lakeland plan to run a video at the start of the day about this. And safety protocols, like washing your hands and keeping your distance are still in play.

The teachers who are still out have been replaced until they are well enough to return.