Back to School for Manatee County Students

Student’s returning today, will experience a classroom unlike any before. Rooms are stocked with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, rearranged to ensure that social distancing will be possible, and everyone will be wearing a mask. Learn what other changes are being made to help protect students, teachers, staff, and family this school year.


Parents and students at many Manatee County schools had three options when returning to school this year, full-time, hybrid schedule, and E-learning. Full-time students will return to school five days per week, while hybrid students will be on campus two days, and three days at home e-learning. Students that have chosen E-learning will remain home while learning from their teacher and participate in live teacher instructions for their daily lessons. E-learning students can still partake in all school activities and events, although all field trips have been suspended at this time, and any extracurricular activities must follow CDC guidelines.


Beyond the classrooms having an abundance of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, the custodial staff will be performing traditional cleaning daily and sanitizing major touch surfaces throughout the entire day. Students may be sitting at tables with plexiglass barriers for protections, or some teachers have decided to keep the desk at 6ft apart to maintain social distancing, either way each surface will be cleaning and sanitized multiple times throughout the day.


While social distancing is not possible on the buses, due to the number of students the districts need to transport, other safety measures will be strongly enforced. Students are required to wear face mask while riding the bus, and temperatures will be taken prior to getting on the bus as well as random temperature checks while they exit the bus. If a student has a fever, they will be put in an isolation area until a parent can pick them up.


Cafeterias will be changing quite drastically this year, with some schools adding plexiglass to separate students and others choosing to have the students eat outside the building or in their classrooms. All school lunches will be provided in sealed containers, eliminating a majority of hot lunches this year. Full-time and hybrid students will go through the lunch like normal, and hybrid students will have the opportunity to take meals home for the days they are doing e-learning. Schools will have scheduled times for e-learning students to pick up breakfast and lunch to last them for the week as well.

While expectations need to be set early on for the students, such as always wearing a mask and practice social distancing, they also need to understand the importance of washing their hands and monitoring their personal health to help stop the spread and keep themselves, school employees, and family members safe this school year.