HAZELWOOD, Mo. — The Ferguson-Florissant School District school board voted to start the 2020-21 academic year virtual-only Wednesday night.
This will be in effect until at least the end of the first quarter, Oct. 21. After Oct. 21, it will be evaluated monthly based upon data regarding the coronavirus.
Last week, the school district sent a letter to parents that said it was “strongly considering” starting out the school year online.
Kevin Hampton, spokesperson for the district, said there was also a hybrid model on the table, but the board approve the motion to go with virtual because it was the safest. Hampton said the board looked at four things: safety, access, schedules and support and ultimately decided safety was most important.
In additional to voting to go all virtual, the board also approved three purchases, which include hot spots for students without in-home internet access, a service agreement with Zoom and an online learning management system that will allow for more robust curriculum.
The board also previously approved the purchase of Chromebooks for all students in the district with the help of the CARES Act money the district received.
Earlier in the day, both Missouri and St. Louis County reported single-day records for new cases of COVID-19. The county reported 263 new cases, bringing the total to 9,624.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has been encouraging virtual learning.
Earlier this week, Page pointed to the rise in COVID-19 cases among young people in the county. He said face masks remain key.
Hazelwood School District’s board also voted in favor of beginning the school year virtually.