FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – During an emergency meeting of the Broward School Board, Superintendent Robert Runcie addressed the first day of distance learning due to the coronavirus outbreak and what the future holds.
Runcie told the board that the state’s education department has recommended that all schools remain closed until May 1st.
“We are awaiting further guidance from them on what that means and should that be extended. I would tell this board and the public that our plan is to prepare for continuing the current education model, the distance learning that we have, throughout the remainder of this school year. We would love to see circumstances improve but I think we have to hope for the best and plan for the worst,” he said.
The superintendent said on the first day of distance learning 162,000 students gained access through Canvas, their online system provider.
Runcie said they had a total of 180,000 users, making Broward schools the largest user of Canvas, which had its largest amount of traffic in a single day.
While there were some technical difficulties at the start, some students and teaches had difficulty logging on, Runcie said Canvas did some tweaks to their system and Tuesday was substantially better.
WATCH: SUPERINTENDED ROBERT RUNCIE’S REMARKS TO SCHOOL BOARD
To ensure students could access their virtual classrooms, Runcie said the district hand out 82,000 computer devices to those who needed them. They also told families who didn’t have internet access that Comcast had a program that provided it for free for two months and $9.99 after that.
He also took the time to thank all the teachers and support staff.
“I want to recognize and thank all the teachers for the amazing shift in their approach and embracing this distance learning model that we’ve now had to launch. It is a testament to the dedication and love that our teachers have for their work and their students,” said Runcie.
The district continues to hand out “grab and go” meals daily at 47 sites around the county.
For a list of those schools and more information, go to browardschools.com.
In Miami-Dade, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said they were ready to continue online instruction and meal distributions through the end of the school year.
“We have the financial resources to continue this approach to feeding and learning until the end of the school year which is in June. Obviously, this is disruptive and less than ideal but folks it is necessary,” he said.
Miami-Dade school has loaned out more than 76,000 devices and is ready to give out another 200,000 to students if needed.
The district is handing out “grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. so as not to interrupt the virtual instruction day.
For a list of sites, go to covid19.dadeschools.net.