Escambia Schools To End Remote Learning, Mask Mandate By Next School Year

April 18, 2021

The Escambia County School District wants students back on campus by the fall, and face masks won’t be required.

In the next school year, the ECSD will not offer remote learning, but students will have an option of enrolling in the state’s Florida Virtual School.

“We need to get kids back in school as fast as possible,” Escambia County School Board Chairman Bill Slayton said during a board workshop. “It’s so important that we get this into the hands of the parents and them knowing that (for) not only VPK and kindergarten students, but our existing students, next year will look different.”

“We are going to move to do away with the blended format,” Superintendent Tim Smith noted.

Summer school in the Escambia County School district will not be offered remotely; it will only be available to in-person students or virtually. Virtual students are part of a permanent online program, while remote students remotely attend their local classes at their assigned schools.

“I think that will give us an opportunity to just make sure we’re back to functioning,” Smith said. “I think it’ll be a time where we will find our rhythm again and I think that’s even more time for caseloads to go down and more people to get immunizations.”

As it stands now, the district won’t require face masks for summer school or in the fall, but they will still be an option for students.

“If a student feels comfortable wearing a mask, they absolutely can wear a mask,” Smith said. “We want our students to be as comfortable as possible.”


22 Responses to “Escambia Schools To End Remote Learning, Mask Mandate By Next School Year”

  1. Puddin1960 on April 22nd, 2021 10:57 am

    Sounds good. Although I myself have chosen not to wear a mask most of the time (except when I’ve been ill), I have no issue with anyone who wants to wear one doing so. The kids need to be in school, full time. Let’s get back to work and on with our lives.

  2. Citizen on April 21st, 2021 11:13 am

    @ Dr. Scientist

    While I agree that SARS-CoV-2 has been recklessly politicized and most of the hysteria is unnecessary, you are incorrect.

    The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 has been isolated in the laboratory countless times.

    As you say, check the CDC website for yourself. I’ll make it easy for you, here you go…

  3. Bob on April 21st, 2021 10:41 am

    @Rasheed Jackson

    I couldn’t agree more.

    This could have been a uniting event, where people put aside politics and prejudices, and worked together to protect their community.

    Instead, our neighbors found any excuse they could to actively endanger our most vulnerable members.

    With the vaccine rolling out, it looks like the pandemic may be ending within the next few months, but I’m never going to forget how our community failed us when we needed them the most.

  4. Citizen on April 21st, 2021 9:26 am

    Good job.

    Now get rid of the block schedule with students in the same class for an hour an a half.
    Adults can’t pay attention that long, much less kids.

    It was put in place to minimize the number of class changes and thus minimize the amount of time that students spent in large groups without social distancing.

    What will be your excuse for keeping the block schedule in place now that Covid concerns are not the issue?
    Let me guess… it’s easier to schedule high stakes standardized testing (nevermind that fact that it’s not ideal for learning, just as blended classrooms aren’t ideal for learning).

  5. Rasheed Jackson on April 20th, 2021 7:56 am

    This pandemic has taught me one thing. Fear will divide people faster than anything else. Put a little fear out there and people will start taking sides. Not only will they take sides, but they will turn on each other. Just like what happened in Germany, pre-WWII, neighbor against neighbor Family against family.

  6. Dr. Scientist on April 20th, 2021 2:32 am

    Ray….. According to CDC documents which you yourself can access and confirm, this virus has never been isolated in a lab. That is a necessary step in creating a vaccine. In other words it’s all a scam. I will keep this short and hope you research and seek out the facts for yourself. And that doesn’t mean looking at Facebook or CNN or any of the other perpetrators of this hoax.

  7. Kane on April 19th, 2021 1:37 pm

    I am Thankful.

    I am thankful that I live in Florida that allowed people and companies to regulate themselves thru ought most of this pandemic. This tactic worked better then anyone thought it would. We did have a high number of deaths but that was our fate all along nothing would have changed it.

    The reasons that our fate was thus are common sense we have a large elderly population a large medical industry and our economy relies heavily on tourism. All that was a “perfect storm” for a high mortality rate. Nevertheless the projected death rate has been much lower then predicted behind places that had strict lengthy mandatory lockdowns.

    I am Thankful.

    I am thankful that my youngest child graduates this year and I wont have to deal with vaccer/anti-vaccer drama anymore. Our nation has put it’s differences aside in times of strife and come together as one despite the racist’s, rioters, bigots, sexists, conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans and in doing so accomplished impossible goals, this is not something we are capable of anymore we are to fragmented to ever be One.

    So I for one will stay home with my family so they don’t get a disease or be a victim of a mass shooter or a school shooter.

  8. Bubba Gump on April 19th, 2021 11:57 am

    We’ve been mask-free for a few weeks now over here in Baldwin County, AL.

    Everything is fine.

    Enough of the “Chicken Little Syndrome” already.

  9. molino resident on April 19th, 2021 7:33 am

    I am so thankful I live in Florida and not California or New York or some of those other wacky out-of-your mind states. Also I am thankful for our great Florida Governor.

    And yes, kids need to be back in school.

    I do not wear a mask now and have not worn one for months and months. I think it is a bunch of hoo-eee. I don’t drink the Kool-aid.

    I don’t care if you wear a mask, but I don’t want to be told I have to. This is still America.

  10. Germ warfare on April 19th, 2021 4:48 am

    Kids do not necessarily “need” to be around other kids because so many parents send their kids to school sick with all kinds of illnesses and infections. I definitely don’t want my grandchildren subjected to this, especially with COVID being in the midst. Remote learning should remain an option to those parents who prefer it for their children. Every time I have visited my Grandchildren’s school to pick up workbooks, there was hardly anyone wearing a mask (students nor teachers) and this was before the vaccine was being offered, so I know that they wasn’t being safe. I will continue to wear a mask because I like not being exposed to other people’s germs and so will my Grandchildren and I hope that the schools will still practice social distancing.

  11. Sarah N. on April 18th, 2021 8:27 pm

    @Ray, I just want to point out that I don’t think any of the current vaccines are even approved for children under 16 yet. So, even if they wanted to mandate it, it would not be possible.

  12. David on April 18th, 2021 7:05 pm

    @ aaron

    Virtual school and remote learning are not the same.
    Read,,,the article again Aaron
    Reading and comprehension !

  13. Shawna on April 18th, 2021 2:08 pm

    Hallelujah Praise God !!

  14. Pcoladad on April 18th, 2021 1:17 pm

    Kids are required to have full immunization shots to go to school…but a Covid vaccine shot is pushing it too far…there are too many risks involved…let parents be parents and decide what is best for their own!!!

  15. aaron on April 18th, 2021 12:41 pm

    awesome decision here… let’s end remote work next… virtual everything is cheap and lazy!

  16. Kristi Mitchell on April 18th, 2021 12:33 pm

    @Ray S

    My sister teaches 4th grade grade ESE (Special Ed) students in Pensacola. The students cannot not keep their masks on all day. She’s vaccinated, and so are most of the teachers.

    There was NEVER this “Super Spreader” outbreak that the hand wringers and news outlets all promised that was going to happen and the school were to be closed immediately 1 week after opening last year, correct?.

    Stay at home sir if you want to, but we are all getting back to life as normal again with out fear.

    P.S. Just left McGuires and ALL of the people and most of the servers are not wearing a mask. Get Out and LIVE!!!!

  17. tc on April 18th, 2021 12:14 pm

    Ray, Covid Vaccines mandatory ? Get real, that aint happening

  18. Chris on April 18th, 2021 12:06 pm

    To Ray S… I forget. What are we calling a male version of Karen these days?

  19. steve on April 18th, 2021 11:38 am

    The kids need to get back to some type of structure as learning from a phone or computer screen may be a real issue when it comes to socialization with society later

    ray……………. The sign that people being obedient, with little fact that its helping, is over. They did not work but was just a feel good push by those wanting to make people feel like the GOVMINT is doing something.
    The real way to stop this mess is already in the works. Mass vaccines and people just realizing they need to keep hands clean and away from face( hard to do when you touching the face all day due to a material patch over it).
    Those that are scared to walk among the living, where a full body suit with forced air.
    Me I will just keep doing what I do cause I AINT SCARED.

  20. David on April 18th, 2021 11:33 am

    @ Ray S

    For every persons opinion to be the same…none are alike on the matter.
    None are correct
    Even Fauci ,CDC,Who and the lot flip flop on every stance and contradict everything they say.
    Everyone is a Guinea pig . ….
    Your opinion is as valid as the 3 government sectors above and Fauci.
    People have contracted the virus even after the vaccine..people have died with and without it.
    I know where you can get a J&J shot if you wish.
    We all have opinions and as everything else in this world..none are valid..including the governments PR saying what they say

  21. Ray S on April 18th, 2021 8:26 am

    Are you serious? First a quick question to a comment for Tim
    Smith’s statement about “students wearing face masks”… I don’t know anyone who actually feels comfortable wearing a face mask! It’s about public health & setting an example for the students. The ONLY way to protect ALL students is to require that they be fully immunized before returning to in person classes. PERIOD. Now, barring that being done, I think it’s irresponsible for you to NOT require face mask in all schools. Will it be inconvenient? Yes. Is wearing a mask necessary for public health? Absolutely,Yes. I pray I’m wrong, but this decision will cause more harm than good to the students of Escambia County.

  22. SueB on April 18th, 2021 8:20 am

    Keeping kids out of school has made most of them stupid, don’t care, think they can get away with no education. Viewing remote learning, a few of the teachers are a joke.

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