Online schooling creates challenges for teachers, students

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Fifth grader Payton Cracchiolo works on a school assignment during remote learning in spring 2020.
Fifth grader Payton Cracchiolo works on a school assignment during remote learning in spring 2020. [ Courtesy of Jim Cracchiolo ]
Published Oct. 9, 2020|Updated Oct. 9, 2020

The practice of running classes remotely arose of necessity, as society looked for ways to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19. With little time to prepare, teachers often struggled to implement the model they had rarely if ever used before. Over time, much has improved. But not for everyone. Read on for the latest Florida education news.

Teaching online isn’t as easy as some might think. “I feel like I’m failing my students because I can’t be there for them like in a classroom,” Marion County teacher Terry Kinder told Good Morning America.

Some teachers are adapting. Pasco County career-technical educators are finding ways to teach hand-on classes online because they had no other choice, EdTech reports.

Coronavirus delayed construction of two new Martin County schools. They’re now on track to open in 2021, TC Palm reports.

Quarantine procedures has students missing school even if they weren’t infected with coronavirus. It’s a precaution the Santa Rosa County superintendent wants revisited, WEAR reports. • The Marion County school district is adopting a close-contact rule that could lead to more quarantines, WMFE reports. • The Alachua County school district said its main source of COVID-19 cases has been football games, WUFT reports.

Welcome back. Broward County schools begin their staggered reopening on Friday, WFOR reports.

Segregation remains in Florida schools. Parents sound committed to diversity, but only as long as it doesn’t hinder their child’s academic progress, Florida Trend reports.

Hundreds of children under 12 were arrested in Florida schools. Some are questioning whether having law enforcement on campus is the best idea, WFTS reports.

A Pinellas County Schools bus is seen during dry runs in a Palm Harbor neighborhood in August.
A Pinellas County Schools bus is seen during dry runs in a Palm Harbor neighborhood in August. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

Auditors took a look at Leon County’s 2019 school bus system failures. They found the district did not adequately review its contract with a routing specialist, leading to “wasted public resources,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Watch your language. Volusia County school officials are “handling” a student seen in a video making racial slurs against another student at New Smyrna Beach High, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Veteran teachers aren’t seeing raises similar to less experienced colleagues. In Brevard County, they’re concerned about the impact of wage compression on retention, Florida Today reports.

Schools are having conversations about race relations. But they’re not required instruction in Okaloosa County, where a high school removed the book “White Fragility” from its senior English curriculum, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

The Palm Beach County principal dismissed after making controversial statements about the Holocaust never backed down. Now rehired, he remains as unapologetic as ever, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The records are in. A judge agrees that victims’ families claiming mental anguish after the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting massacre must provide some documentation showing their mental health treatment, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

From the campaign trail ... School boards in Florida are non-partisan bodies. That doesn’t stop political posturing during campaigns. The race for the Pinellas County District 1 seat has become a partisan and ideological battle.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go ... It doesn’t hurt to have a reminder every once in a while. As Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, If you’re feeling sick, stay home. The district opened classrooms Monday, and began reporting COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the Miami Herald reports.