A lot of attention got paid to the state’s emergency order requiring schools to open their doors to in-person classes by the end of August. South Florida districts, still in earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic, received more time to prepare for the return to “bricks and mortar.” Now they’re starting the transition, and the same arguments and criticisms we heard from the rest of Florida are flaring again. Palm Beach schools opened Monday to a chorus of questions about safety. Miami-Dade officials were inundated with hundreds of comments and concerns as they prepared to talk about getting students back into schools as early as Sept. 30. Read on for the latest.
Florida is getting closer to having all its districts with in-person classes. Miami-Dade County officials said they are considering opening their doors in early October, the Miami Herald reports. Some students could return before the end of September under the plan. But first, another really long School Board meeting. • Palm Beach County schools reopened on Monday, with concerns high that teachers might not show up, the Palm Beach Post reports. Two thirds of students stayed home. The debate over school safety raged on, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Where is everybody? At least three dozen Leon County teachers have left their jobs, saying the pressures have been too high, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. • About 1,000 expected Leon County students have yet to show up for classes, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.
Show them the money. The Pinellas County school district got $17 million from the state to put into teacher pay. The School Board plans to consider how to spend it.
Some school districts don’t have enough computers to go around. In Duval County, this affects student learning both at home and in school, the Florida Times-Union reports. • Orange County schools have asked students who no longer require borrowed laptops to return them for “redeployment,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Universities aren’t playing when it comes to the coronavirus. The University of Florida is making plans to cancel its traditional spring break to prevent virus spread, the Gainesville Sun reports. • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University suspended 10 students for partying without social distancing or masks, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. • Ave Maria University implemented strict health and safety measures, the Naples Daily News reports.
School employees are being trained on more than coronavirus protocols. Osceola County school bus drivers received information about how to identify child trafficking, WFTV reports.
Districts continue to adjust to the virus throughout. The St. Johns County school district changed its dismissal schedule to give custodians more time to sanitize high-traffic areas, WJXT reports.
Amid all the struggles, education is happening. Some Lake County high school construction students began work on a new Habitat for Humanity home, the Daily Commercial reports.
So, too, are other aspects of the school day. Such as fire drills in Alachua County schools, WUFT reports.
The Citrus County school district has had just one school police chief. He’s ready to retire, and the district already has picked his replacement, the Citrus County Chronicle reports.
From the police blotter ... An Orange County elementary school teacher has been arrested on charges related to the death of a toddler, who she left in her car while she went to work, WFTV reports.
Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.
Before you go ... For many children, a school bus ride can be a scary part of the day. Imagine it being your kindergarten year, wearing a mask, heading to the school you’ve never attended before. The bus driver can make it, or break it.