Florida Orders All Schools To Reopen In August

Cheryl Sanders
July 8, 2020

The order from the Education Commissioner says schools must reopen all brick and mortar buildings at full capacity at least five days a week.

"I think I have concerns about the concept of going to a brick and mortar school situation right now because it does not seem like a lot of the school districts, at least in ours, while they have a plan it doesn't seem like the plan misses a huge gap", said Anthony Conticello, a Leon County Schools parent.

At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that Florida ranks third in highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, with 213,773 cases.

The order also requires school districts to monitor progress and ensure that all students are making adequate progress.

School districts will need to submit a reopening plan that satisfies the requirements of the new emergency order to the Department of Education. The move is "subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health and local departments of health".

The order appears to follow President Donald Trump's wishes.

In the fall, schools can offer a remote learning option in addition to in-person learning, but those plans must be approved by the state and must be far more robust than they were last spring.

"'[P] arents who seek a return to a typical school week on campus must have that option when schools restart next month, ' said Jacob Oliva, chancellor of K-12 education at the Florida Department of Education, in a video call Monday with local school officials to explain the new order", the outlet reported. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said state law decides whether schools can reopen, and while he hopes schools can reopen, he won't do so if it would endanger students or teachers.

Orange County, which includes Orlando, has the country's eighth-largest school district with almost 216,000 students and over 25,000 employees.

The official added: "It is such an important component of our communities and important for the well-being and health of individuals that are school age".

United Teachers of Dade, which represents Miami-Dade County teachers in the fourth-largest school district in the USA, said schools are unlikely to reopen for in-person instruction because coronavirus cases aren't declining yet.

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