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Volusia County Schools will continue offering in-person instruction in the traditional classroom, as well as virtual options, including Volusia Live and Volusia Online Learning, for the spring semester, in keeping with the updated order announced Nov. 30 by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The updated emergency order will include a provision requiring school districts to notify parents if their virtual student is struggling academically — a practice already in place in Volusia County schools. Virtual students who are not making adequate academic progress would be returned to in-person instruction, unless their parent affirmatively decides to continue their child in a virtual option.

VCS closely monitors students’ academic progress, and after a midterm evaluation of grades, thousands of students returned to the traditional-classroom option earlier in November.

Currently, about 75 percent of VCS students are in the traditional classroom, 15 percent in Volusia Live (virtual, real-time, livestreaming), and 1 percent in the Volusia Online Learning option (more flexible scheduling).

Schools are working closely with families to provide interventions to help struggling students succeed. VCS is closely monitoring progress to ensure all students will continue to progress academically and have the opportunity to acquire the necessary credits required for graduation.

VCS, at the recommendation of the Volusia County Health Department, is shortening the COVID-19 quarantine period from 14 to 10 days, in order to align with the new guidelines from the CDC. These changes go into effect immediately.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website (https://ede.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/secientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html).

What this means is quarantine times for those who were exposed to COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms is now 10 days (instead of 14 days), since the collection of the first positive lab test. This means those who fit these criteria and are already in quarantine can shorten their quarantine times according to the guidelines.

What this also means is if a person who was exposed and doesn’t have symptoms gets tested with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Day 6 or later and receives a negative result, then that person may end quarantine after completion of Day 7.

Food Brings Hope was the recipient of donations from the AdventHealth Week of Caring. Every year, during the Week of Caring in November, AdventHealth employees demonstrate their service standards outside the walls of the hospital by volunteering their time and talents to the community.

AdventHealth hosted a food and toy drive across their five hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties. All the toys and school supplies, as well as nonperishable food items, were donated to Food Brings Hope.

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Athletic Department collected items at each hospital.

Friday, Dec. 18, is the last day of school before the Winter Holiday begins Monday, Dec. 21. Classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 5.

Orange City Elementary School

Keep up to date with the happenings at Orange City Elementary School by following the school on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OCSRoadrunners.

Sunrise Elementary School

Preorders of yearbooks at Sunrise Elementary School in Deltona cost $17 through Dec. 18. Online orders through Dec. 31 can be made at commpe.pictavo.com. The price after Dec. 31 increases to $22.

DeLand High School Athletics

The DeLand High School Lady Bulldog basketball team to date is 2-2 in the season, with wins over Deltona, 51-28, and Lake Brantley, 50-39, while being stopped by Mainland, 74-35, and Spruce Creek, 66-33. Senior Jiya Hastings has been the leading scorer for DeLand in all four games. She scored 20 points against Deltona and 18 points against Lake Brantley.

The Bulldog boys’ basketball team has been stopped by Orangewood, 80-62; Lake Brantley, 77-53; and Lyman, 53-42. Senior Kariden Hardrick scored 27, 20 and 13 points, respectively. Junior Noah Van Bibber has scored 16, 13 and 16 points in the same three games.

The Bulldog boys’ soccer team at this writing is 7-0 on the season, and is state-ranked. They have defeated Mainland, 5-2; Pine Ridge, 2-1; Crescent City, 6-2; University, 4-0; Atlantic, 11-0; Flagler Palm Coast, 5-1; and Eustis, 6-1.

This has been the year of changes, and that is exactly what has happened to the DeLand High Bulldog Holiday Basketball Tournament. In the years past, this has been an eight-team tournament played over three days. This year, there will be four teams playing the tournament over two days. 

The teams featured beside the DeLand Bulldogs are Lake Mary, Ormond Beach Calvary Christian and Orlando’s Saints Academy. The tournament will be played on Dec. 18 and 19, in the Bulldog gym, with games at 6 and 8 p.m. nightly. 

On the evening of Friday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m., Calvary Christian will face Lake Mary, followed by DeLand hosting Saints Academy at 8 p.m. The second night, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., the two teams that lost the night before will face off, while the two winning squads will match up at 8 p.m.

The Bulldog wrestlers will be at the Hagerty Tournament in Oviedo Friday-Saturday, Dec. 18-19.

There are no Bulldog sports competitions during the week of Dec. 21.

Pine Ridge High School

Pine Ridge High School in Deltona congratulates senior Alexis Anello for being recognized for her art exhibit that was displayed in Daytona Speedway Gallery 500. 

Pine Ridge staff members Christina Hackey, media specialist, and David Peralta, chorus teacher, received FUTURES Foundation mini-grants. Hackey’s project “Let’s Get Lit!” focuses on increasing literacy campuswide; Peralta’s project “Training Tomorrow’s Sound Engineers” will help students with production skills leading to jobs in the recording industry. 

The American Red Cross Club and the National Honor Society are co-hosting “Christmas in the Country” at River of Life Church in Enterprise/Deltona Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 19. 

Stetson University Athletics 

The Stetson University Athletics Department hosted its second annual Fall Fundraiser Challenge event with an announced goal of raising $100,000 to go toward Hatter athletic programs. Hatter fans came through in a big way, despite the cancellation of all events. Combined, the 18 Stetson athletic teams raised in excess of $260,000 during the eight-day event. 

In addition to the total dollars raised, the campaign produced gifts from 870 individuals, which was almost double the 442 donors from the first campaign. Of the 870 who made gifts, 445 were first-time donors to the university in any capacity. 

The women’s basketball team has scheduled games at home at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, against The University of Alabama at Birmingham and at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, against Abilene Christian. 

The men’s basketball team plays against Thomas College at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 in the Edmunds Center and at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, against Webber International University. 

The Stetson men at this writing are 0-2 on the season, with a loss to Emmanuel College, 64- 61, with Rob Perry scoring 26, Chase Johnston adding 11, and Mahamadou Diawara scoring 10 and having 14 rebounds. The Hats were stopped by the University of Miami, 82- 60, with Johnston scoring 19 and Diawara adding 14, with six rebounds. 

College honors 

Culver-Stockt on College in Canton, Missouri, congratulates Eli Lindemann, of Deltona, on being accepted to the college. She attends Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona. Lindemann was awarded the Trustee Scholarship, a $14,500-per-year scholarship for four years, which is based on academic credentials. 

Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at flacoach43@hotmail.com. 

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