There are too many COVID-19 cases, and the district doesn’t feel that will change in the next few weeks.

Polk County Public Schools announced Tuesday it is delaying the start of the 2020-2021 school year until August 24.

Students were supposed to return to class on August 10.

What You Need To Know

“We are trending upward with the rise of COVID-19 cases, not only in the state but right here in Polk County,” Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said.

“At this time, I do not feel it is safe to physically reopen schools on Aug. 10."

In a news release, the district said Byrd is in “constant contact” with the Florida Department of Health in Polk County, and the new start date is not set in stone.

“We will continue to monitor the situation with health officials and, if the spread of the virus remains high, we can further delay the physical reopening of our brick-and-mortar schools if necessary,” Byrd explained.

Polk County teachers are scheduled to begin their end-of-summer professional development on August 17.

At this point, parents and guardians have three schooling options to choose from for their kids.

On-campus learning: Students return to classrooms, where various health and safety protocols will be in place.

Campus eSchool: Students remain enrolled in their school but learn online in a highly-structured virtual environment.

Polk Virtual School: Students enroll in online courses taught by Polk County teachers and learn at their own pace.

You can find more information on the school district’s website.