What Florida Parents Should Know About COVID-19 and This Upcoming School Year

Desks in empty classroom
Desks in empty classroom

An executive order was recently signed by Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran, mandating that schools must open next month.

The order states, “All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students,” subject to input from the Florida Department of Health and local departments of health.

And while the day-to-day decisions on opening or closing a school rest within that district, schools must submit their plan to the state. That plan must ensure all Florida students have access to the full array of services, including identification of achievement gaps that may have been exacerbated by COVID-19, including students with disabilities.

Written in the order is, “although it is anticipated most students will return to full-time brick and mortar schools, some parents will continue their child’s education through innovative learning environments.”

Private schools

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Cost of ensuring school safety complicates reopening plans

As school districts across the country decide how and when they can bring students back to campus safely, a major sticking point is emerging: the money to make it happen.

Keeping public schools for 50 million students and more than 7 million staff safe from the coronavirus could require more teachers and substitutes, nurses and custodians. School districts will need to find more buses to allow for more space between children and buy more computers for distance learning. They’ll need to buy sanitizer, masks and other protective equipment. Some are putting up plastic dividers in offices and classrooms.

While public health concerns are getting most of the attention, especially with the nation’s infections and hospitalizations rising, costs have become a major consideration. Many districts are hoping Congress will step in.

The Council of Chief State School Officers says safely reopening public schools could cost between $158 billion and $245 billion,

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Large Sacramento suburban school district will start fall with distance learning only

The Folsom Cordova Unified School District will begin the 202-21 school year with a distance learning-only plan.

The decision, which came during a special board meeting Tuesday night, caught dozens of parents who tuned in online by surprise.

The school board voted 4-1 to have all 20,000 students in the district start the school year online.

Transitional schedules, or hybrid models where students will return two to four days a week in morning or afternoon cohorts, will be implemented as soon as it is deemed safe to return to campus.

The school district also approved a virtual academy option for students who wish to sign up for it. Charter homeschool programs are still options for families.

Many parents shared their frustrations during public comment and on Facebook groups, upset the district was eliminating all other options, including their children’s chance to physically return to campus August 12. More than 300

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Back to school in Orange County without masks and social distancing? Many call that reckless

People gather in Laguna Beach in May to protest Gov. Gavin Newson's order temporarily closing Orange County beaches. <span class="copyright">(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )</span>
People gather in Laguna Beach in May to protest Gov. Gavin Newson’s order temporarily closing Orange County beaches. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )

Recommendations approved by the Orange County Board of Education to welcome students back to campuses without increased social distancing in classrooms or the mandatory use of masks were met with a fierce backlash from educators and parents Tuesday, highlighting the larger divide in the county over the use of face coverings and other coronavirus protections.

How to reopen schools has become a major political battle, with President Trump pushing educators to get kids back into the classroom despite a surge of new COVID-19 cases and concerns that in-person instruction is simply not safe. Los Angeles, San Diego and a growing number of other communities in California are putting off reopening plans, citing the coronavirus spike and a lack of testing and contract tracing.

The debate

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Mayors Give Florida Governor Feedback On School Reopenings

MIAMI, FL — When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the state’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak Tuesday he was hoping to have an honest exchange with local mayors in Miami-Dade County about the ongoing surge in cases of the deadly virus.

The mayors were more than willing to share their thoughts on the virus and even how the virus affected their own families.

“I have young children like you do. My wife is probably not going to put our 2-year -old in preschool,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez shared with the state’s top executive. “She was showing me desks that she was thinking of buying for my son’s room, so he could learn virtually.”

See related:

Miami-Dade Schools Gave Out 119,000 Electronic Devices

Suarez, who was one of the first elected officials in the United States to contract the coronavirus and recover, suggested the state should have a long-term plan

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How To Make Black Lives Matter At Harvard Business School

When I first heard that Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria had publicly apologized for the school’s numerous failures to the African-American community, I was both surprised by his personal confession of complicity and highly skeptical that the anti-Black culture that he had led for a decade would substantially improve. As a senior lecturer at the school for seven years from 2012 to 2019, I had been regularly lobbying Dean Nohria on Black issues. I would initiate meetings with him every year in the fall and spring, armed with my sheet of paper with “Black Agenda” handwritten on the top. I wrongfully assumed that a “man of color” would want to rid the school of its anti-Black racism. Boy, was I wrong! There was no progress.

And then, when I finally read his entire apology, I was outraged and glad that I had retired from the toxic anti-Black environment. The … Read More

OC School Districts Shun Board Of Education’s No-Mask Suggestions

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — The worsening coronavirus pandemic has led more Southland school districts to start the 2020/21 school year online, it was announced this week.

On Monday, both Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District banded together in their announcement of online classes to start the coming school year. Meanwhile, Orange County’s Board of Education had different ideas, voting 4-1 to encourage the districts under their umbrella to send kids back to regular school without masks or distancing.

Though the board of education makes recommendations of their districts, it is the individual school districts that ultimately make their own decisions. On Tuesday, school districts across the county were back to the drawing board to handle the coming school year.

There is no word yet on how distance learning will affect southern California school districts with regard to sports, clubs and recreational activities. The CIF Southern

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California’s 2 Largest School Districts Will Be Online-Only In The Fall, Officials Say

California’s two largest public school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, will hold classes completely online when teaching resumes in the fall, officials announced Monday as the coronavirus continues to surge around the nation. 

Together the two districts enroll about 825,000 students and are the largest in the country to announce such plans. In a joint statement, officials said ongoing research around the coronavirus remained “incomplete” and federal guidelines were “vague and contradictory.”

“One fact is clear: those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools have done so with declining infection rates and on-demand testing available. California has neither,” the districts said. “The skyrocketing infection rates of the past few weeks make it clear the pandemic is not under control.”

Cases of the virus have continued to rise in most states in the U.S. More than 61,000 new infections were announced Monday, the second-highest during any point

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As Trump pressures schools to reopen, California’s 2 largest school districts say they’re going to start online only in the fall

President Trump is seen outside the White House on July 11, 2020.
President Trump is seen outside the White House on July 11, 2020.

Joshua Roberts/Getty

  • The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school systems said they’ll be starting the fall semester off online in a joint statement. 

  • The announcement comes after President Donald Trump said he’d pressure states to reopen in-person classes in the fall. 

  • The two districts have a combined total of 700,000 students, according to NPR.

  • On Monday, public health officials in Los Angeles County announced 2,593 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths.

  • Other counties, like Orange County, California, voted on Monday to reopen schools without measures requiring masks or increased social distancing.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Los Angeles and San Diego unified school systems announced that they’ll be going online only at the start of the fall semester, according to a joint statement.

“One fact is clear: those countries that have managed

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LA school system says school year will begin remotely in August

Two security guards talk on the campus of the closed McKinley School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) system, in Compton, California, just south of Los Angeles: (2020 Getty Images)
Two security guards talk on the campus of the closed McKinley School, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) system, in Compton, California, just south of Los Angeles: (2020 Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has announced that remote learning will continue in August, as the state re-shuts down amid rising coronavirus cases.

LAUSD superintendent, Austin Beutner, sent a letter out to parents in the city on Monday confirming that classes will resume online next month.

“We made the decision to close school facilities before there was any occurrence of the virus at our schools, and this proved to be the right call,” Mr Beutner said.

“Science was our guide then, and it will continue to be. Unfortunately, Covid-19 continues to spread in the Los Angeles area and the virus is going to impact how we start the new school year.”

The district is the

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