MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is reiterating his belief that it would not be appropriate for students to return to campus for in class learning right now and it seems Gov. Ron DeSantis agrees.
Carvalho met with Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez and local members of the CDC and FEMA on Wednesday.READ MORE: 'Hidden Worlds': An immersive voyage into deepest oceans & mesmerizing mangroves through state-of-the-art technology
After the meeting, Carvalho, who heads the nation’s fourth largest school district, said it’s possible the school year could start late.
“As I communicated to our visitors, our first day of school is still expected to be August 24th. We may take advantage of certain, uh, flexibility afforded by the state and maybe push it back.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis apparently agrees with Carvalho, saying Wednesday during an address on the reopening of Florida schools, “If a school district has to delay the opening of school for a few weeks, have at it.”
Miami-Dade County is in a unique position compared to other parts of the state due to the continuing increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.
“No parent should be required to send their child to in person instruction if they don’t want to,” said DeSantis. “I believe we owe every Florida parent a choice – to send your child to school or opt for at-home learning.”READ MORE: Haiti's contributions to South Florida in full display at Haitian Heritage Month Art Exhibition
Since several teachers have been vocal about their concerns being in the classroom while the virus continues to spread, the governor said teachers should also have a choice.
“Teachers who may be higher risk or those who don’t feel comfortable with in person instruction, they should be given the option of working remotely,” the governor said.
Superintendent Carvalho has previously said with the county’s current positivity rates, in person classes for the county’s 350,000 public school students will not take place if the county remains in Phase 1 by the start of school on August 24.
There are eight criteria that need to be met for schools to open including:
- Sustained COVID-19 positivity rate of less than 10% trending toward 5% for 14 days
- Steady reduction in number of individuals hospitalized
- Sustained reduction in ICU bed occupancy
- Continuous reduced viral burden for 14 days with a decrease of virus-positive individuals
- Increase in viral specific COVID-19 test availability with decreased wait time
- Turnaround time for test results less than 48 hours
- Increase in quantity and quality of contract tracing
- Ensuring vaccinations for school-aged children
The wait time for testing is an issue for Carvalho who said he took a COVID-19 test and waited 10 days to get results.MORE NEWS: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs property insurance, condo safety reforms into law
Carvalho is urging everyone to wear masks, social distance and follow proper safety measures to help ensure school can start on time.