MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Unprecedented changes were announced late Tuesday that will dramatically impact teachers, parents and students across the state.

“Let’s not make any mistake about this,” said Miami Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “This is a less than ideal situation.”

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Carvalho held a press conference after the Florida Department of Education released sweeping changes for schools statewide.

The highlights include:

  • The closure of all school campuses through April 15
  • Schools are encouraged to individually setup virtual classrooms for online learning
  • Districts should prepare to extend the school year through June
  • All tests, including the FSA, are now canceled
  • No grades will be assessed for this school year
  • Parents can choose whether their child graduates or repeats

“We have entered uncharted waters. Let’s navigate these uncharted waters with patience, with respect and compassion. We will be every step of the way,” Carvalho said.

Carvalho admits the challenges presented by the coronavirus are numerous, but the digital classroom is their best shot at some sort of normalcy.

“By definition, emergencies, crisis, are disruptive. They are inconvenient,” he said. “But the alternative is not acceptable.”

Miami-Dade has handed out 52,000 devices to students to get online. Broward is rolling out a similar program Friday.

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While unsaid, there is an expectation the campus closures could go beyond April.

“If I were to project that we were going to have standard graduating ceremonies, my take is probably not,” he said.

The same goes for colleges and universities.

Public and private campuses are closed for rest of spring semester, though they may operate online.

And like K-12 schools, their semester may extend through June.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Department of Education have said they will likely decide on that April 15 date at the end of this week.

Broward and Miami-Dade’s districts told CBS4 that parents and teachers should expect more guidance to come out Wednesday regarding what to expect in the coming weeks.

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