schools

Dave Adamson

Evans High School’s football team has reported five positive coronavirus tests, and its Thursday game against West Orange High School has been canceled, the Orange County school district said.

raul pino speaks at meeting
From Orange County Government video

Orange County public schools have reported no secondary transmissions of the coronavirus since they reopened for face-to-face instruction Aug. 21, a state health official said Tuesday.

Broward Schools To Reopen Oct. 5

Sep 16, 2020

Broward schools plans to reopen its campus on Oct. 5, Superintendent Robert Runcie announced Tuesday.

He said a decline in COVID-19 rates in the state, as well as expectations from Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state leaders, make it time for a return to face-to-face learning.

“We recognize there’s a population that wants to come back to our schools and those families should have that option," he said.

The Sarasota School Board on Tuesday took steps to advance its mask policy until the end of the school year to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

During a midday workshop, board members heard from Sarasota Memorial Hospital infectious disease doctor Manuel Gordillo, who said talk about masks lowering oxygen intake “is just simply a myth, and it should not be in this conversation.”

He also lamented the push — by some members of the community — to end mask-wearing, when the virus is still spreading and there is no vaccine against it.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried
Ryan Dailey / WFSU

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the state to be more open about how it plans to spend federal stimulus money received because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday, Fried requested a full accounting of federal “CARES Act” money the state has received so it can be discussed at a scheduled Sept. 22 Cabinet meeting.

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

Sep 15, 2020
Pixabay

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

desantis speaks
flgov.com

Florida is moving closer to fully reopening from its coronavirus restrictions.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday that Miami-Dade and Broward counties will move into Phase 2 of the economic recovery program on Monday.

closeup of child doing math on laptop computer
Annie Spratt / Unsplash

U.S. school districts where the vast majority of students are white are more than three times as likely to be open for some in-person learning than those that enroll mostly students of color, an analysis by The Associated Press and Chalkbeat shows.

School Board Chairman Eric Cummings with mask on during meeting
Marion County Public Schools

Marion County School Board Chairman Eric Cummings has a message for parents of online students:

  • Let the teachers teach — don’t sit there whispering answers to your children.
  • Don’t let the child attend school in his pajamas in bed.
  • And put on a shirt or blouse.

teacher in mask speaks
Pinellas County Schools

At a Pinellas County School Board meeting Tuesday, teachers voiced frustration about having to instruct in-person and online students at the same time, as the district tries to balance safety with educational needs while the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Teen vaping was already risky, but with COVID-19, it’s even more dangerous.

When people use e-cigarettes, they exhale vapor into the air. If they have COVID-19, those clouds of vapor will be laden with the virus. Young people often also share vape pens, which could spread the coronavirus, as well.

Olympia High School building
WMFE

The closure of an Orlando-area high school this week due to positive coronavirus cases has been traced back to a birthday party late last month.

Orlando-Area High School To Close Campus For 2 Weeks

Sep 8, 2020
Olympia High School building
Orange County School Board

The Orange County school distruct is closing the Olympia High School campus for two weeks because of a cluster of coronavirus cases. The district said 922 face-to-face students will be shifted to online classes from Tuesday through Sept. 18.

The school district said 156 students and staff at the Orlando-area school have had direct contact with six individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health said the cases are a result of community spread but not spread at the school.

Six months into schools' pandemic-driven experiment in distance learning, much has been said (and debated) about whether children are learning. But the more urgent question, for the more than 30 million kids who depend on U.S. schools for free or reduced-price meals, is this:

Are they eating?

The answer, based on recent data and interviews with school nutrition leaders and anti-hunger advocates across the country, is alarming.

K-12 schools across the state began sending people home to self-isolate within days of classes starting. Some districts are releasing the names of schools where close contact with a confirmed positive case has occurred, while others are not disclosing this information.

classroom scene with empty desks and some desks with students
iStock

Public health experts have warned that coronavirus cases are likely to show up in schools as they reopen. And while some Florida school districts are reporting COVID-19 cases, others are not.

WUSF is compiling reports that come in from official sources, and what they are sharing with student families and school staff when available.

Some school districts, universities, and colleges are making information about cases on their campuses available on their websites. You can find them here:

DeSantis, Rivkees Tell Sick Teachers And Students To Stay Home

Sep 1, 2020
Austin Pacheco

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees on Monday said to reduce the risk of new coronavirus cases, teachers and students should stay home if they feel sick.

“Fever, cough, shortness of breath, change in smell, change in taste, sore throat, if you feel sick at all. Please don’t go to school. Contact your health care provider and get tested,” he said.

Scott Atlas speaking
The Florida Channel

With students returning to classrooms throughout most of the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and an adviser to President Donald Trump on Monday tried to bolster support for offering in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

For Kids With Special Needs, Online Schooling Divides Haves And Have-Nots

Aug 31, 2020
teacher showing book to student and mom in masks
Anna Almendrala / Kaiser Health News

It’s Tuesday morning in Alhambra, California, and teacher Tamya Daly has her online class playing an alphabet game. The students are writing quickly and intently, with occasional whoops of excitement, on the little whiteboards she dropped off at their homes the day before along with coloring books, markers, Silly Putty and other learning props — all of which she created or paid for with her own money.

Florida teachers won in court this week even as more school districts return to the classroom. A judge ruled the state order to reopen brick-and-mortar schools by Aug. 31 or lose funding is unconstitutional.

The Florida Education Association filed a lawsuit after the state ordered teachers back to class five days a week, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The state says it’ll appeal the ruling. Despite the ruling, many public schools in Florida remain open for in-person instruction, and many more will open in the coming weeks.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Principal Paul Hockenbury was tested for the coronavirus on Aug. 12. While he awaited test results, he continued going to work.

Students were not yet in school, but teachers and staff were on site for training.

Hockenbury notified the school community of his positive test result on August 16 in an internal school newsletter update, obtained by the Herald-Tribune.

Kinnan school staff were then notified of a confirmed case on campus. Exposed employees were sent home to isolate for 14 days.

Pixabay

In a partial win for Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, a Tallahassee-based appeals court on Friday put on hold a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that said a state mandate for schools to reopen this month amid the coronavirus is unconstitutional.

DeSantis and Corcoran have been locked in a legal slugfest with teachers unions over the education commissioner’s July 6 emergency order requiring schools to reopen five days a week in August or risk losing state funding.

The school board of the nation's seventh largest district voted Friday to press on with plans to open brick-and-mortar schools Aug. 31, reversing course on a plan it adopted earlier this month to delay reopening by four weeks due to coronavirus concerns.

During about two hours of discussion at the board meeting, concerns were raised about the chaos of changing course just days before school would start, and the desire of about half of parents to send their children to school.

School board members also discussed declining COVID-19 cases in the area.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state will prevail in a lawsuit over reopening schools.

This week, a judge sided with teachers unions that challenged the Florida Department of Education’s order that schools must open for face-to-face instruction. The state appealed the decision, but a judge on Thursday vacated an automatic stay of the order.

Speaking at a news conference in Tampa, DeSantis said parents should have the option to send their children to school.

Looking for a snapshot of coronavirus outbreaks in U.S. schools? The National Education Association has just launched a tracker of cases in public K-12 schools.

The tracker is broken down by state and shows schools and counties with known cases and suspected cases and deaths, as well as whether those infected were students or staff. It also includes links to the local news reports so users know where the virus data comes from.

As coronavirus cases pop up in K-12 schools that are reopening across the state, many districts are looking at what circumstances might force them to close.

On Tuesday, Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Addison Davis said he has been in talks with the Department of Health, Tampa General Hospital, and USF Health about possibly calling for a school to close if a certain percentage of students are in quarantine due to potential exposure to a COVID case.

Head shots of Charles Dodson and Ron DeSantis
2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida; WUSF Public Media

Siding with teachers unions, a Leon County circuit judge Thursday lifted a stay of his earlier ruling that a state order requiring schools to reopen in August is unconstitutional.

Judge Charles Dodson on Monday issued a temporary injunction accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and other state education officials of ignoring the Florida Constitution by requiring school districts to resume face-to-face instruction this month amid the coronavirus pandemic. School districts risk losing state funding if they don’t comply with the emergency order, issued by Corcoran on July 6.

News Service of Florida

Florida officials are urging a Leon County circuit judge to keep in place a stay on his ruling that a state mandate to reopen brick-and-mortar schools is unconstitutional. Attorneys for the state argued that allowing the ruling to go into effect would “sow confusion and disarray.”

The state’s arguments filed Wednesday were the latest twist in a legal battle over a July 6 emergency order issued by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran mandating that schools reopen this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Annie Spratt

Florida's public K-12 schools and universities are starting a new school year and while some students will be learning online from home, others are heading back to campus. With students back in the building, school administrators and staff are now tasked with keeping them safe and healthy.

"Florida Matters" host Bradley George spoke with WUSF education reporter Kerry Sheridan, University of South Florida public health professor Jay Wolfson and New College of Florida student Anna Lynn Winfrey, editor-in-chief of New College's campus newspaper, The Catalyst.

Broward County Public Schools is using state funding provided after the Parkland shooting to assemble mental health crisis teams that administrators hope will help curb violence, suspensions and Baker Act referrals.

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