MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The start of the new school year is about a month away, but whether students will head back to the classroom or learn online is still being addressed.
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho laid out the district’s plan for reopening on Wednesday.
The 2020-2021 school year will start on August 24th, the first week will be for orientation. The first actual day of class will be August 31st.
Carvallo said the start of the year will begin under Stage 1 which entails all education online through My School Online. He said they were working on face to face opportunities for students with special needs where remote learning does not work.
“The CDC has this time also provided additional insights regarding the relationship between the reopening of schools and viral transmission risk,” Carvalho said.
The superintendent said by October 5th they hoped to be able to go to Stage 2. Under this stage classes would be taught online and five days a week on school campuses.
Carvalho said they got rid of the hybrid models because parents didn’t’ like them. He said with proper spacing and broad mitigation practices they believe in-class education could be done in a safe way.
“The CDC also has emphasized that it is important to consider community transmission risk as schools reopen,” Carvalho said.
Carvalho said there is no timeline for Stage 3 in which all students would return to their schools. He said My School Online will remain an option for parents who want to continue their student’s education online, about 50 percent of parents said they preferred it.
The district is planning to serve meals for those who need while distance learning.
The district is also planning for one student per row on buses, once classrooms are open.
At a Broward School Board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Robert Runcie repeated that the plan is to start the school year on August 19th with 100 percent online learning.
Runcie said they are working on accommodating children with needs, physical or language barriers, with in-person sessions. However, it won’t likely be on a daily basis.
On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis held firm to his stance that parents should make the decision about whether their children return to school in the fall.
“What’s clear to me is that parents want the ability to control their kid’s’ destiny and have a meaningful choice. And so for me, if parents think that distance learning is the way to go, if they’re not comfortable in a face to face environment for their kids, then I think they have that right. But I do think there are a lot of parents who really do need to have their kid have face interaction and I think we have to do all we can to provide that,” he said.
DeSantis went on to say it’s not just parents who should have a choice about to do with their children. He encouraged school districts to be flexible with teachers who may want to work remotely.
As for school districts who are considering delaying the start of the school year, the governor said “have at it.”