Manatee County Schools preparing for virtual classes

Manatee Schools Presser

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Schools are closed for now but education will continue virtually after spring break.

Manatee County School District representatives say they're making sure all students have access to internet and devices ahead of the transition to online classes on March 30.

Spectrum internet service is providing free WIFI for any household with students K-12 and college students for 60 days.

The district says this helps in their aim to stay on track this school year.

In the age of technology, education can continue despite a COVID-19 mandated school closure.

Governor Ron DeSantis canceled in-person classes until April 15. Schools in Manatee County will shift to online learning on March 30.

"If we begin instruction then we will meet the required minutes to complete the school year as the calendar is depicted and that's really our ultimate goal right now," said Manatee Schools Superintendent Cynthia Saunders.

Fortunately for the county, they’ve been doing a program called Schoology for a while so the transition to online-only classes isn’t expected to be a headache for teachers students or parents.

If a student in Manatee County doesn’t have access to a laptop or mobile device to do assignments and attend class, the district has them covered.

“We have approximately 13,000 chrome books right now and we have over 15,000 Windows laptops. So we feel we’re in a good position. We’ll certainly have some challenges but we’ll work with our principals in the coming days to ensure that a student that needs a device has a device,” said the Manatee County School District Chief Technology Officer, Scott Hansen.

Ninety percent of students are covered in the free internet coverage area Spectrum is providing for 60 days. The students who aren’t will get hot spots from the district.

Hansen says they’ve ordered the hot spots but don’t expect them until between April 3 and 10th.