COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
Free meal distribution changing to 2 days per week, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (4/7/2020)
Starting the week of April 13, free breakfasts and lunches for students will be available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Students will receive four meals on Tuesdays -- 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches. On Thursdays, they will receive 6 meals -- 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches. Learn more HERE.
An Open Letter to the Class of 2020 from Superintenent Diane Kornegay (4/7/2020)
Superintendent Diane Kornegay has written an open letter to the class of 2020 that will be emailed to seniors and their families. In it, the Superintendent addresses the district's plans to make sure this senior class gets a proper, celebratory send-off despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Read the letter HERE.
District to further consolidate meal distribute sites (4/3/2020)
In light of Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Lake County Schools is minimizing its staffing requirements and allowing more employees to stay home by closing five free-meal distribution sites. Students and families will be referred to locations nearby, where they can continue to pick up free breakfasts and lunches while schools are closed. Read more HERE.
Florida extends school campus closures through May 1
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran has recommended that all Florida public and private K-12 school campuses extend campus closures through May 1, 2020. This recommendation follows President Donald J. Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30. Read the full story HERE.
District to consolidate sites where students pick up free meals (3/27/2020)
Starting Monday, the district will close 11 meal distribution sites where fewer students have been picking up free breakfasts and lunches. Those sites will be consolidated with nearby locations. Read the full story HERE.
District awaits new shipment of Chromebooks to meet online learning demand (3/27/2020)
Distance learning in Lake launches on Monday, March 30, and schools are busy distributing Chromebook devices to students so they can access lessons online at home while school buildings are closed in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The district has about 31,500 Chromebooks for students to use a home. High school students received theirs earlier, as part of the district's five-year plan to provide a device for every student in grades 3 and up. Distribution of the remaining devices began Thursday, March 26, and continued today (March 27) at elementary and middle schools. Additional days will be added as needed.
Parents who have personal devices at home have been asked to allow students to use those for schoolwork so the district's supply can stretch farther, particularly to families who otherwise would have no computer access for their children. Also to help meet the demand, the district is providing one device per household and asking siblings who live together to share. Plus, the district is expecting a shipment of more Chromebooks to arrive next week.
Read the full story HERE.
Does your child need a computer to use at home for distance learning? (3/24/2020)
Lake County Schools launches Distance Learning on Monday, March 30. If you have a computer (Windows, Mac, Chromebook, etc.) at home that your child can use for schoolwork, please allow him or her to do so.
If you do not have a computer and your child needs one for schoolwork, please complete our "Technology at Home" survey to let us know. Find the survey online at https://forms.gle/gabwgT2WEjsmJd6KA.
We will distribute Chromebooks starting Thursday. Schools will contact parents with appointment times for pick-up. Make sure we have your correct contact information in Skyward.
To make the supply stretch farther, we will start by providing one device per household and reassess the need afterward.
*This information applies only to non-charter schools. Charter schools have their own distance learning plans and will communicate details directly with their students' families.
Board reviews distance learning plan, which launches March 30 (3/24/2020)
The district received 3,500 new Chromebooks this week. They will be among the devices distributed to students for distance learning, which launches March 30.
TAVARES -- District leaders Monday night provided School Board members with a full overview of the distance learning plan that will launch for Lake County students and teachers on March 30 and will remain in place while schools are closed in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Acknowledging the anxiety some students and parents are feeling, Superintendent Diane Kornegay offered words of reassurance. “We will get through this,” she said. “It’s a whole new way of learning for all of us and it will come with its challenges. We have a great team here to support this effort. Our campuses are closed, but learning will continue here in Lake.”
The district’s plan is designed for non-charter schools. Charter schools have developed their own plans and will communicate those details directly to their students’ families.
The district’s plan involves the use of two major platforms – Edgenuity/Odysseyware and Google Classrooms – to present lessons to students. I-Ready Math and I-Ready Reading will be used as well. Teachers will also have access to supplemental resources such as PBS Learning, Khan Academy and Rosetta Stone.
But Emily Weiskopf, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Leadership, said teachers will be cautioned against overloading students with too many assignments, because many students are likely to be sharing computer devices with siblings and other family members.
Read the full story HERE.
Free meals offered to students at more school locations (3/18/2020)
The district has expanded the list of sites where free meals will be offered to students during the extended statewide school closures, now expected to last until at least April 15.
Initially, meals were to be distributed at five locations next week in response to school closures that are part of a worldwide effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Now, meals will be distributed at all traditional Lake County public school campuses, except Lake Hills School. We are also distributing meals at Mascotte and Minneola charter schools. Addresses for the schools can be found on the district's web site: www.lake.k12.fl.us
Students should go to the school nearest their home address to get their meals.
Meals will be distributed Monday through Friday, starting March 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the car loop of each school site. Students will be given a free lunch along wiht a free breakfast for the next day.
Staff will distribute the meals directly to those in their vehicle (drive-through service) upon arrival. In addition, staff will hand-out meals to any walkers and/or bike riders who may lack motor-vehicle transportation.
Students must be present to receive the meals. Students are not required to have parents with them when they come, but parents are not allowed to pick up meals without a student accompanying them.
Based on recommendations from our federal and state leaders, we are asking that all meals be taken home to be eaten.
Students won't return to classrooms until at least April 15; online learning begins March 30 (3/17/2020)
Public school students in Lake County and throughout the state of Florida will not return to classrooms until at least April 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this afternoon in a public update on the state's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. He also said there would be no state testing for the remainder of the school year, and no school grades for this year.
Online learning for Lake students will begin on March 30. Students and families will receive information next week on how to access their courses.
In the meantime, parents who do not have a computer in the household that their children can use for online learning are asked to complete this survey, which will help the district coordinate distribution of Chromebooks. Parents should complete one form for each child enrolled in a Lake County public school.
The form is a planning tool, not a reservation document. Details on how to reserve and pick up devices will be shared through the schools.
Lake County Schools to offer free meals to students (3/16/2020)
Lake County Schools will provide FREE breakfast and lunch meals for its students (18 years old and younger) during the extended school closure next week, from March 23 through March 27, 2020.
The following distribution sites have been established:
- Beverly Shores Elementary - 1108 W. Griffin Road, Leesburg 34748
- Eustis Heights Elementary -- 250 W. Atwater Ave., Eustis 32726
- Groveland Elementary -- 930 Parkwood Street, Groveland 34736
- Grassy Lake Elementary -- 13636 Education Avenue, Minneola 34715
- Lost Lake Elementary -- 1901 Johns Lake Road, Clermont 34711
Meals will be available for pick-up between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the car loop of each school site.
Staff will distribute the meals directly to those in their vehicle (drive-through service) upon arrival. In addition, staff will hand out meals directly to any walkers and/or bike riders who may lack motor vehicle transportation. Students must be present to receive the meals. Students are not required to have parents with them, but parents will not be permitted to pick up meals without a student accompanying them.
Based on recommendations from our federal and state leaders, we are asking that all meals be taken home to eat.
Schools closed through March 30 (3/13/2020)
With direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) announced this afternoon that all school districts will close for one additional week beyond their Spring Break. In Lake, students will return to school on March 30.
FSA testing is being delayed by at least two weeks, and all sporting events and extra-curricular activities, including Extended Learning Centers (ELC), are canceled during the closure.
The March 23 School Board meeting is canceled as well.
District employees are instructed to stay home through March 30. Employees will be compensated.
Select staff will be notified individually to help give schools and buses a deep cleansing while students and employees are away. Twelve-month employees are expected to work virtually as much as possible during this time.
FLDOE is evaluating the situation and will determine at a later time whether students will be asked to make up lost instructional time.
More details will be released as information becomes available. Keep up with the latest updates on our website at lake.k12.fl.us/covid19 and follow us on on Facebook and Twitter (@lakeschools).
Cruising and Foreign Travel (3/13/2020)
Parents, students and staff:
We received additional guidance from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) this morning regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, travel and school/work attendance for students and employees.
Yesterday, we stated that based on the CDC recommendations, anyone who takes a cruise despite the CDC's recommendation that travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide, is asked to self-isolate for 14 days upon return before coming to school or work.
Today, that statement was echoed by FLDOE, after conversations with the Department of Health (DOH). It is being shared with all districts in the state in stronger language. The notice reads, "Anyone who goes on a cruise, anywhere, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return."
Additionally, FLDOE stated, "Anyone who goes on foreign travel, to any country, must self-isolate for 14 days upon return."
Several parents have specifically asked whether this advisory includes travel to Puerto Rico. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it is not considered “foreign travel.” However, the CDC shows it as having a Level 2 Travel Health Notice, which means “travelers should limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.” Because it is difficult to limit interactions in a school setting, those who travel to Puerto Rico are also asked to self-isolate for 14 days after returning from their travel.
Student absences will be excused, and students will be allowed to complete assignments. Arrangements can be made through the school once parents notify administration that their child will need to self-isolate.
We know it is frustrating to have to consider a change in your travel plans or to have to make adjustments upon your return. Please understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. We are in constant contact with the DOH and FLDOE, and all decisions are being made in collaboration with them. We get updates daily and provide new information as it comes to us.
Lake County Schools has dedicated a page on our website at lake.k12.fl.us/covid19, where you can find the latest information and helpful links. We will also post updates on our social media pages, including over Spring Break. If there are any major changes, we will send an automated phone call as well. At this point, there are no plans to close schools in Lake.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we all navigate new territory with this virus.
Spring Break reminders (3/12/2020)
Parents, students and staff:
As we head into Spring Break next week (March 16-20), here are a few reminders regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus:
- Follow the CDC's information for travel. Parents, please notify your child's principal if any member of your household goes to any of the countries where community spread of the virus is occurring. Employees, notify your supervisor of the same. Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that children and employees in these households wait for the 14-day incubation period, beginning the day of return to the U.S., to expire before returning to school.
- The CDC recommends travelers defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. Students and employees who cruise despite the recommendation -- regardless of the destinations -- are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in order to limit interactions with others beginning on the day you disembark.
- Continue your practice of healthy habits including frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; coughing or sneezing into an elbow or using a tissue and placing it immediately in the trash; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; and staying home when you are sick.
Fortunately, the threat of coronavirus remains low in our community, particularly for younger people. District staff will continue to monitor the situation over the break.
The Florida Department of Education has advised all districts to prepare instructional continuity plans in case temporary school closures become necessary. We are working on such a plan with guidance from the FLDOE. But as of this writing, there are no current plans to close schools in Lake County.
Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@lakeschools) and check the district website for updates.
Have a relaxing, safe and healthy Spring Break!
Diane Kornegay, Superintendent
Lake County Schools
District cancels student field trips involving air travel (3/9/2020)
All Central Florida school superintendents continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation. Following a call with the Florida Commissioner of Education this morning and based on his strong recommendations, student field trips involving air travel will be suspended immediately through the end of the current school year. District and school staff members will work with parents and travel companies on appropriate cancellation arrangements.
While we have been advised by experts that the risk to young people remains low, we encourage everyone to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and to follow health habits. Hand washing with soap and water remains the best prevention.
CDC offers tips for preventing the spread of the virus (3/4/2020)
Lake County Schools (LCS) still has no confirmed cases of coronavirus among students or staff. However, three cases have now been confirmed in Florida. They are in Manatee and Hillsborough counties.
We continue to urge families to follow the CDC's information for travel, and please notify your child's principal if any member of your household has been to any of the countries where community spread of the virus is occurring. You can find the latest list of those countries on the CDC web page. Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that these children wait for the 14-day incubation period, beginning the day of return to the U.S., to expire before returning to school.
We are reminding all students and staff to follow the preventive measures outlined by the CDC:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into an elbow or use a tissue and place it immediately in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Thank you for your continued support in keeping our students and staff safe. More information on the coronavirus is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Visit the site frequently for the latest updates.