Reopen Miami-Dade Schools? Not Before Hearing From Medical Advisers

Sep 15, 2020

Members of the Miami-Dade County School Board want to know what health experts think before they make a decision about reopening schools.

The district’s panel of medical advisers is meeting Thursday afternoon, and board members floated the possibility of scheduling a meeting to discuss the district’s plan later Thursday or the following Monday, since Friday is the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.

The board had planned to begin a discussion on reopening school buildings to students, teachers and staff during a special board meeting on Monday afternoon. But Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez changed the conversation Friday when they announced the county would enter Phase 2 of reopening.

School buildings have been closed since the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During Monday’s meeting, schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the county’s decision to begin Phase 2 means the district is halfway there. But he has committed not to reopening campuses until the county meets eight health criteria, including 48-hour turnaround time for COVID-19 testing.

Some public speakers during Monday’s meeting urged the board not to open schools until there was a vaccine, arguing that students, employees and their families could get sick and die. Several said it would be hypocritical for the board members to force people back into schools while they’re still holding their own meetings via video conference.