schools

The Pasco County School District has extended the deadline for people to weigh in on fall options for returning students through Wednesday, July 8.

The original deadline was July 1, but the district noted that an increase in coronavirus cases could cause parents and students to change their minds about their choices.

Duval County students returning to the classroom this fall will sit behind protective barriers meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The nation's pediatricians have come out with a strong statement in favor of bringing children back to the classroom this fall wherever and whenever they can do so safely. The American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance "strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school."

For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manatee County's school board room has been closed to the public. Meetings have been broadcast online and on TV but public comments were only accepted by email.

As Hillsborough County students prepare for school in August, the district is working on what that return will look like.

During a school board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Addison Davis presented three models for reopening, each linked to different levels of spread of the disease.

Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
Miami-Dade Public Schools

Many schools find themselves overwhelmed by the potential expenses that would come with operating under pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines. Those include protective equipment, staff for smaller classes and additional transportation to keep students spread out on bus rides.

The burdens loom large in particular for underfunded districts that often have neither the space nor the budgets to accommodate new health protocols. The superintendent in Hartford, Connecticut, shudders at how to afford a scenario in which each teacher had dramatically fewer students.

Superintendent Kurt Browning
Pasco County School District / YouTube

The Pasco County School District on Monday announced that Superintendent Kurt Browning has contracted COVID-19.

The Pasco County School District has presented three options for returning students in the fall that work around the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pinellas County School district is asking students, families, staff and community members for input on reopening schools.

The Return to School survey measures comfort levels on models of instruction, bus transportation, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment in classrooms.

The Broward County School Board presented preliminary plans for reopening public schools at a press conference on June 16. The board's goal is to guarantee students the option of completing half of their learning time on campus. 

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Robert Runcie said it was imperative to reopen and maximize physical time spent at school. 

With the start of school just two months away, Governor Ron DeSantis is suggesting public schools return to campus for the fall semester.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the reading program will include monthlong summer programs for kindergarten to fifth grade students who have been identified as being poor readers.
Governor's Press Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to improve the reading skills of the state's youngest students who have fallen further behind because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Florida Releases Plan To Reopen Schools

Jun 12, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis and state education officials on Thursday released a plan to reopen public schools at full capacity in August, saying that vulnerable kids and Floridians need the return to in-person instruction.

“While there may be challenges regionally, Florida’s workforce and students with the greatest needs are counting on schools to fight to stay open,” the Florida Department of Education stated in the 143-page plan issued Thursday.

As parents decide whether to send their children back to the classroom this fall, Florida Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville) says she’s worried more parents could opt to home school. She says that could create an even bigger racial divide in education.

“When we talk about who has to work—even in low wage jobs, and underpaid jobs, because certain individuals have been historically denied certain jobs anyway—it could result in more segregation," Gibson said.

Safely reopening the nation's public schools will be an expensive and Herculean task without additional help from the federal government. And, until schools do reopen, the nation's most vulnerable children will continue to be hardest hit — losing consistent access to meals, valuable learning time, and vital social-emotional support. Those were just some of the takeaways Wednesday from a hearing of the U.S. Senate's education committee.

Youth sports and summer camps will be free to continue operations, after a Friday morning announcement from Gov. DeSantis lifting all restrictions on the activities effective immediately. 

Austin Beutner looked haggard, his face a curtain of worry lines. The superintendent of the second-largest school district in the nation sat at a desk last week delivering a video address to Los Angeles families. But he began with a stark message clearly meant for another audience:

Lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

Let's face it, life is hard with the ever-looming specter of coronavirus. School has been online for it seems like forever and now children are having to deal with milestone transitions like moving from elementary school to middle school in a not-so-ordinary way.

Teachers' Union Urges DeSantis To Keep Classrooms Closed

Apr 15, 2020

The statewide teachers’ union Tuesday called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to keep school campuses closed for the rest of this academic year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is on the fence about shutting school campuses statewide for the rest of the academic year, but he said on Thursday some students may return to school sooner than others.

The coronavirus outbreak has led the Florida Department of Education to close all public schools across the state through March 27.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is surveying families about their technology needs in case the district has to close some or all campuses because of an outbreak of the coronavirus, a potential emergency that could force students to continue their classwork online at home.

A proposal that would require school officials to verify that de-escalation tactics have been used before a student can be involuntarily committed under the Baker Act is headed to the House floor.

“Just Say No” isn’t doing enough to keep Florida’s youth from experimenting with drugs. That’s according to a coalition of state and local leaders who are working together to launch a new drug education initiative.

Schools Could Get Antidote To Overdoses

Nov 12, 2019

Medicine cabinets at Florida schools could get a new addition: an antidote for people who overdose on opioids such as heroin.

UPDATED: Education Reform Now has acknowledged its report was inaccurate and has reissued the report with an apology. Read more here.

Osceola County Schools Votes To Accept Medical Marijuna Policy

Dec 20, 2018

The Osceola County School Board voted to accept a medical marijuana policy tonight. That means students will be able to have medical marijuana on campus with a registry ID card.

Gov. Rick Scott (Twitter)

In Florida, schools have yet to reopen in an area heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael, and the biggest roadblocks have been securing housing and child care for teachers and staff. So the Bay District Schools are opening child-care sites as classes resume early next month.

Children registering for school in Florida this year were asked to reveal some history about their mental health.

The new requirement is part of a law rushed through the state legislature after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s College of Education received a $2.2 million grant for a new statewide training program for K-12 schools.

USF St. Pete will work with the Florida Department of Education to help school personnel identify the signs of emotional distress, mental health difficulties and substance abuse disorders - then connect those students with resources.

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