HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County Schools will offer students two different learning options for the 2021-2022 school year but the eLearning program born out of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be one of them.
According to a press release, students can get in school face-to-face instruction or they can apply for virtual learning through Hillsborough Virtual K-12 (HVK12). Families can apply for HVK12 here.
“We are excited to welcome all students back to our campuses in August. Our teachers, school-based administrators, and support professionals have been true champions this year for their unfailing commitment and patience in providing emotional support and targeted instruction to students," said Superintendent Addison Davis.
"Recent data shows children are facing numerous challenges academically and emotionally, with many falling behind in core content areas such as reading and math. It is time students receive accelerated instruction in front of high-quality educators while also having full access to mental health supports at our schools,” said Davis.
The school district also says face masks will be optional for all students and staff started June 7, including summer learning programs.
The district says it will continue to work with local public health experts at the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County and Tampa General Hospital/USF Health to monitor COVID-19 conditions across the county in case a change in the decision is warranted.
“COVID-19 transmission in Hillsborough County schools was minimized due to the combined efforts of parents, students, and staff. These efforts protected students, teachers, and the entire community. Vaccination has proven to be highly effective in preventing infection, allowing for the relaxation of the mitigation efforts that were needed over the past year," said DOH-Hillsborough Director, Dr. Douglas Holt.
"We strongly encourage those who have children 12 years old and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Although COVID-19 in children is usually milder than in adults, some kids can get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. With more people getting vaccinated there will be fewer overall infections among the population and lessen the chance of dangerous coronavirus variants emerging,” said Holt.
According to the district, initial choice enrollment for HVK12 ends July 11 at 11:50 p.m. Through the program, students use a web-based curriculum with certified teachers from the district.