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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Camp Kiwanis canceled but summer school possibilities are being discussed

Camp Kiwanis, a 72-year Marion County tradition, has been canceled for this summer because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Because the camping experience puts 400-plus students in close quarters over four week-long camps, safe social distancing isn’t possible. Campers with deposits on file already have been contacted and offered refunds.

Discussions are continuing regarding summer school. Students typically attend by invitation only due to academic progress or credit recovery to graduate on time. This year’s programs likely will be virtual based.

Extended School Year also will be offered on a virtual basis to students with exceptional needs. Summertime driver’s education classes have been canceled because safe social distancing isn’t possible. More details on summer school programs will be announced in coming weeks.

Current school year enrollment is being handled on a case-by-case basis with the School Choice office. Enrollment for the 2020-21 school year, including voluntary pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, is postponed as long as schools are physically closed. Once schools reopen, enrollment must be completed with a mandatory appointment at school. More details will be announced once schools physically reopen to the public, which likely won’t be before May 4.

Per Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order, distance learning will continue at least through June, tentatively the last instructional day for the 2019-20 school year in Marion County Public Schools. Teachers and students will continue interaction, assignments and activities through that date. School campuses remain closed to the public.

Class of 2020 graduation events have been postponed. But school leaders are committed to recognizing seniors in appropriate ways. Details will be forthcoming.

“Parking Lot Wi-Fi” continues at Belleview Middle, Dunnellon High, Forest High, Fort McCoy School, Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks, Lake Weir Middle, North Marion High, North Marion Middle, Vanguard High and West Port High. This free service is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Users simply drive into the parking lot, log in and access learning materials online. This service is provided through a partnership with the City of Ocala and its fiber network operation.

“Grab & Go” meal service continued into its fifth week of serving. On Wednesday, 5,240 students received 10,480 breakfast and lunch meals. Since March 24, the district has delivered and handed out 204,923 meals.

Visit www.marionschools.net and Twitter @MarionCountyK12 for further updates.