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Coronavirus cases rise in Florida schools. Some say the picture is incomplete.

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.

Some medical experts have told us that the secondary spread of the coronavirus isn’t happening in schools. The reported cases have happened away from campuses, where the safety protocols aren’t as closely followed, they say. Still, it’s hard not to notice the large numbers of infections and quarantines, isn’t it? Some say the numbers don’t tell the true story. Read on for the latest Florida education news.

Tampa area schools hit a new milestone since resuming classes in August. Case No. 1,000 has been reported. And that’s just what the districts are releasing. • Health officials in Charlotte County said the spread is coming from the community, not the schools, the Sun reports. • Some experts have suggested the state numbers mislead the public about the scope of the pandemic, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Maybe that’s why masks remain a requirement in most places. The Pasco School Board will consider extending its rule through the spring.

Social distancing also matters, where possible. Palm Beach County school officials are keeping track of how far apart the desks are, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Some schools might be going too far in their precautions. A Lee County mom criticized her eighth grade daughter’s school for telling her to quarantine, when the girl’s symptoms were associated with “that time of the month,” WFTX reports.

As more kids return to campus, some schools are changing their approach. The Manatee County school district is ending its hybrid model for many students, the Bradenton Herald reports. It’s also removing its requirement that teachers have in-person and online students at the same time, WUSF reports. More from the Herald-Tribune. • The Alachua County school district is spending $1.3 million in added CARES Act funds to help teachers who have struggled with technology, the Gainesville Sun reports.

Landon Rancke, left, and his big brother, Ryan Rancke work together to set up a computer for online learning. Both are students in the Pinellas County school system. [ Courtesy of Kristin Rancke ]

Time is ticking to switch. Collier County students have until midnight Friday, the Naples Daily News reports.

Be ready to flip back. Another Miami-Dade County school reverts to online-only classes after cases arise, the Miami Herald reports. • Duval County had its first school shutter in-person operations as it reported at least 16 virus cases on campus, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Is now the best time to cut teachers? Hillsborough County superintendent Addison Davis said he has no choice, given budget woes his district faces.

It’s hard enough to find substitutes. Schools across the state are struggling to fill openings when teachers call in sick, WKMG reports.

Technology plays a growing role in schools. The Marion County school district is preparing to spend $11.5 million on upgrades and equipment, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

College tours remain unavailable. Central Florida seniors can attend a drive-through college fair instead, the Orlando Sentinel reports. • With so many hurdles before them, fewer high school seniors than usual are applying to the state’s universities, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

School choice remains big in Florida. Step Up For Students awarded its millionth scholarship, Florida Politics reports.

New construction just keeps on. The Manatee County school district is prepared to buy land to meet growth demands with a new middle school, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Some districts are trying to catch up with delayed projects. Duval County officials say their district could eliminate much of its infrastructure backlog if voters support a property tax referendum, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Under investigation. The band director at an Alachua County high school is placed on administrative leave amid a police investigation into unspecified allegations, the Gainesville Sun reports. • A committee investigating allegations of racial bias in hiring in Taylor County schools found ‘systemic racial issues’ within the district, WCTV reports.

From the courts ... The Sarasota County teachers union has dropped its defamation lawsuit against School Board member Shirley Brown, WWSB reports.

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

Before you go ... Can you name that dancing Pasco County principal?

A great video from Chasco Middle School. CHMS student, “Mr. B, show us your moves!” Principal Bracciale, “Moves? What moves? You mean these?”

Posted by Pasco County Schools on Friday, October 9, 2020