Traditional, Remote Learning Or Virtual School? Here’s What Escambia Parents Picked

July 22, 2020

Escambia County parents were asked to choose from three options for their child’s education when students return to class in August.

Here’s what parents picked (definitions of each are at the end of the article):

  • Traditional learning: 12,463 (34%)
  • Remote Learning: 11,559 (31%)
  • Virtual School:  3,481 (9%)
  • Unknown: 9,753 (26%)

Because twice the number of parents chose the remote learning option, the school district has delayed the start of school by two weeks to better prepare.


“The number of students participating in the Remote Learning/Virtual School option means additional training for a number of our current instructors,” Escambia Superintendent Malcolm Thomas said, “pushing the student start date to August 24, 2020 is necessary to provide our educators with the professional development required for quality virtual instruction. This also means students returning to Traditional School can improve social distancing within the classroom and school buses.”

The district is attempting to contact the parents that did not make a choice by the July 20 deadline (listed as “Unknown” above). Parents can also call their child’s school to make a change in their selection.

The three options, in more detail, are:

Traditional -

This model represents a return to the school campus and the classroom where students will interact directly with their teacher(s) and classmates.  If an option is not selected in FOCUS for a student, then this will be the default selection. The school day will follow the standard bell times and standard schedule that includes all the core classes and other subject areas.  In short, it represents a return to the traditional school environment – with several significant changes involving enhanced health and safety precautions.

Remote Learning -

The remote learning model is designed for families who would like to maintain their connection to their enrolled school, but don’t yet feel comfortable sending their student(s) back to school in August.  Students will attend school remotely, following the standard school schedule and bell times.  The lessons, assignments and grading will be similar to traditional school.

Virtual School -

The virtual model is ideal for students who wish to have more control over their learning path and pace, and for whom a flexible daily schedule is important.  In this learning model, students often work on assignments in a virtual environment during non-traditional hours and maintain contact with their teacher and classmates using web-based class sessions, email, text messages and telephone calls.


18 Responses to “Traditional, Remote Learning Or Virtual School? Here’s What Escambia Parents Picked”

  1. Lee on July 24th, 2020 3:51 pm

    For those concerned that kids must get back to school, what happens when faculty and staff get sick and there are NO subs??? What happens when your child is exposed and has to quarantine for two weeks? If you have at risk family in your household, will you feel confident your student isn’t bringing the virus home FROM school? Your student may never have symptoms but could infect someone else in your home. Then what? Does the student continue attending school, potentially spreading the virus? Going back to school might be more realistic if everyone had been wearing masks, practicing social distancing, etc., but that has not been the case. So, really???? We are talking about a hot spot state where Disney World is open during a pandemic. Do you think those people aren’t mobile??? No matter how well teachers and admin handle safety protocols at school, they are all at the mercy of whatever parents allow their kids to do at home. Sending kids back to regular school is an accident waiting to happen. Getting a month into the school year and having to shut down again will be worse than just waiting until there is a significant decrease in cases and having students work from home.

  2. Melanie on July 22nd, 2020 11:16 pm

    To mnon not everyone has a choice. We have to work.

  3. Jennifer on July 22nd, 2020 10:23 pm

    @mnon Well said!

  4. mnon on July 22nd, 2020 5:25 pm

    Who ever sends their kids to school during this is just asking for it and I for one will have no sympathy when your entire family contracts covid.

    The politicians do not care about you or your kids, the left nor the right. The rich has gotten $550 million richer during this and the plebs are out of work losing their homes, utilities etc.

    This is a culling of the “undesirable” people that are burdens on the system, disabled, elderly, people with pre-existing conditions and poor communities. A culling we will not beat because people think their rights are being squashed by wearing a mask. All other countries have gotten on top of this pandemic because they did what science suggests, they were all doing it and as a country worked together to stop it.

    The US now more than ever looks like the gun toting idiots we have been accused of by other countries for decades. Well guess what they were right and you wonder why a lot of countries dislike the US? Maybe we need this culling to wake people up. The mass majority of citizens have had it too good for so long they are arrogant.

    US is #1 alright, #1 country of imbeciles on the world stage… its embarrassing. And no I don’t want to leave my country, I’ll just sit in isolation and watch the Benny Hill show that is taking place. LOL

  5. Kane on July 22nd, 2020 2:05 pm

    For those confused this is a graph of how “parents decided” not a graph of “registered students”.

    To those “kids will be alright” group really? How about their teachers will they be “alright”? What about the Janitors the Lunch room workers the Bus drivers and the rest of the facility will they be “alright” as well?

    We live in a fishbowl society were people can not see past their own lives and think about only themselves.

  6. Just Stop on July 22nd, 2020 2:05 pm

    Please stop saying “you take your kids to Walmart then you can send them to school.” I don’t take mine to ANY store for a reason. Don’t assume that parents are so careless in their day to day. The assumptions people make about others which they know nothing about drives me insane! It’s about trusting the all of the other parents have been taking the proper precautions as well, not just your own!

  7. Lee on July 22nd, 2020 12:39 pm

    @k – The 26% “unknown” is likely a combination of parents who opted for traditional school by not responding, parents who are waiting to see the trajectory of the virus closer to the start of school , and parents who forgot, don’t have Internet, moved, etc. Anyone who wants to choose or change their choice can go to the district site for info or call their child’s school.

  8. doris m weber on July 22nd, 2020 12:39 pm


    I’ve had a lot of beefs with the school administration over many years but for once I’m going to give them a break dealing with this extraordinary pandemic.

    My household of three generations has been in upheaval since spring break; every time we start coping with the situation, the situation takes an other turn that we have to tiptoe through.

    Our school system is a cumbersome, lumbering giant faced with performing the two-step without any practice or instruction, I almost feel sorry for all the people there who have succeeded by NEVER thinking outside the box!

    – DMW

  9. Sebastion on July 22nd, 2020 12:27 pm

    Y’all can’t wait a few more months for the Oxford quasi-vaccine to come out(~November)? Schools will cause a spike, look at other countries. The concern isn’t the kids, per data.

  10. Nope on July 22nd, 2020 12:19 pm

    Unknown accounts for those who might have moved or are going to homeschool.
    The lower numbers in classrooms should help with distancing, but those hallways are still going to be packed between classes.

  11. No Excuses on July 22nd, 2020 11:25 am


    Yes, most kids would probably be just fine. However, let me give you a few things to think about:

    1. A large number of teachers and support staff are older(meaning over 50) with underlying health conditions. Are we supposed to get sick and die just because you think we should be packed in with the students?

    2. We do not yet know the long term effects of COVID-19 on a human being. It could be something that causes great harm over time since it’s a virus and we can catch it over and over again.

    3. Social distancing would be IMPOSSIBLE under ANY circumstances with all students in school. It’s foolish to put the students all together when so many other options are available including year round schooling, remote learning, split shifts, just to name a few.

    4. We saw what happened in the prisons with COVID-19. Unless an infection is aggressively managed, it spreads like crazy. Schools are much like prisons in that we have a large group of students in one place and they can’t leave until the day is over, or they get checked out. In other words, why would you do that to a child or their teacher if there was a better way to handle it?

    A simple, “Aw, just send them all back, they’ll be just fine, even if they catch it” is just plain crazy.

  12. Cheryl Chew on July 22nd, 2020 10:28 am

    Traditional is best for the kids! They will be fine! I think it is VERY important for the kids to be back with the teachers. My kids will wear masks when around others… they will take their own lunch and as a parent I have educated them on safety. This Covid is controlling us ….and more and more findings are that the numbers are wrong. You take your kids to Publix.. Target.. Walmart …..parties…but not to school where we know they will take safety measures for our kids… does not make sense. Getting kids back to school is so important!

  13. June Karpinski on July 22nd, 2020 10:05 am

    On virtual does the students keep the school laptops or do they have to get their own ? We heard because of the virus you keep them ,. Is this true?

  14. k on July 22nd, 2020 9:41 am

    Didn’t the press release from the County say that those who did not decide would be entered into the traditional block?

    So that means “traditional” is actually the 34 plus the 26 “unknown”
    for a total of 60 percent in traditional learning.

    just based on the deadline and the data pulled from that.

  15. Janelle on July 22nd, 2020 8:50 am

    Is there a way to see the individual percentages per school?

  16. sam on July 22nd, 2020 7:46 am

    put the kids in school. they will be fine. it’s older folks that have to be careful. if you take the kids to the beach, wal mart, food giant or pensacola, you have exposed them to far more chances at covid than in the schools.

  17. From experience on July 22nd, 2020 7:45 am

    Wearing masks will be far less harmful than the vaping and smoking many of the students do, not to mention the lifetime of growing up in households with second hand smoke.

  18. just sayin on July 22nd, 2020 7:38 am

    Why is there an unknown category? After the deadline according to Malcolm those who do not choose an option will automatically be counted by default as a “brick and mortar” or traditional student.

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