Superintendents all over the Panhandle weigh in on school closures


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Although Governor Desantis made the announcement about school closures, parents and students all have mixed opinions on the matter.

We spoke to Superintendents all over the Panhandle to get their views on what they believe is best for their district.

With a distance learning plan new to everyone involved, it will now be something that lasts until the end of May. Superintendent of Jackson County Schools, Larry Moore says he personally agrees with the Governor’s decision.

“I know that a lot of parents, a lot of our staff members would’ve been very concerned if we tried to reopen school between now and the end of summer,” said Superintendent Moore.

Superintendent Moore says he’s heard very positive things about their distance learning plan so far.

“The most positive, probably at least from the distance learning standpoint, is the one on one contact the teachers are having with parents and students,” said Superintendent Moore.

Gulf County Superintendent, Jim Norton says he believes their district will have a generation of students who are mentally stronger because of all they’ve been through in just two short years.

“With distance-learning, we’ll just continue it, it’s not perfect but we are pretty seasoned and disaster recovery has come out of Hurricane Michael,” said Superintendent Norton.

Many districts in Northeast Florida agree that this is the best choice for everyone’s safety.

“The safety is the number one most paramount issue, what we’re dealing with obviously we are closing schools through may, so we’re not gonna do anything to endanger anybody’s safety or well-being,” said Superintendent of bay District Schools, Bill Husfelt.

“We want more than anything, our students to remain safe, with them being safes we all live to come back together at some point again,” said Walton County Schools Superintendent, Russell Hughes.

Another idea that school districts alike plan on doing for their seniors is a special graduation ceremony.

“I definitely want to have a graduation ceremony at some point in the future, as soon as we can start large gatherings again and start to have those big assemblies,” said Superintendent Moore.

Although no dates have been set for these proposed ceremonies, each school district does plan on getting together with their seniors at some point- even if it ends up being during the Summer.

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