FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward School Board met Tuesday in a virtual workshop to discuss what kind of schooling will be available when the students return to class in August.
During the day-long meeting, they heard presentations from district administrators who took part in private workshop sessions in an effort to come up with a plan for the new year.
A week ago, some parents demonstrated at the school district’s headquarters. They called for classroom learning five days a week.
The district listened to their concerns and they are working on four options. One is a return to class at schools five days a week. Two others are hybrid models that combine in-school instruction and online learning. The fourth option is all online classes.
The board has put the options on the district’s website and encourages parents to check them out and select a preference. The deadline to enter a selection is Friday.
The final decision will probably not be made until early August.
On Monday, state Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran ordered public schools to fully reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families. Corcoran’s mandate said that extending school closures can impede students’ educational success and prevent parents and guardians from returning to work.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie addressed the mandate on Tuesday. He said they did have a plan and he pointed out that Corcoran left it up to the individual districts and their health concerns.
“We do not see a clear path to reopening schools five days a week, the way it was before the pandemic,” said Runcie.
“We will never compromise the health or safety of our students or our staff,” he added.
Each district will have to submit their plan to the state’s education department for approval.
Miami-Dade public schools are also wrestling with how to reopen next month with the coronavirus case numbers rising.
The district is asking families to complete a survey on the district’s ‘parent portal’ by Friday. It asks whether they would like their student to attend five days a week, continue online education, or something a hybrid between the two.
“We are still in phase one (reopening of the county). If we don’t’ reach phase two, we will not transition to traditional five days a week learning. That would be impossible and reckless,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.