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Will distance learning become Florida’s new status quo?

A roundup of Florida education stories from around the state.

It seems like just days ago we were talking about distance learning as this new frontier that students and teachers were just getting used to. The kinks were still being worked out. That’s so Monday morning. Now it’s the status quo, for the next month, if not longer. Read on for that and more Florida education news.

Get ready for the long haul. The Florida Department of Education called on school districts and charter schools to keep campuses closed at least another two weeks, through April 30. Most quickly announced they’d do it. Some districts, though, were coy about whether they’d comply, the Sun-Sentinel reports. Many parents and others, meanwhile, wondered why not just rip the Band-aid off and call it a year? Notably, the department didn’t offer any public comment.

How’s that online platform working for you? Slow in the Tampa Bay area. And Orlando (Sentinel). And South Florida (Miami Herald). And Manatee County (Herald-Tribune). And Putnam County (Palatka Daily News). You get the picture.

Maybe they need more time to work out the kinks. That’s the game plan in Pasco County.

Want more coronavirus news? The Tampa Bay Times is providing all its latest stories about the pandemic online free of charge as a public service. You always could subscribe, too.

Veterans Elementary School kindergarten teacher Tammy Hickey prepares to caravan in her students' neighborhood before distance learning. [ JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times ]

Are there other options? Florida Virtual School is offering free classes to all districts, Florida Politics reports.

The state has suggestions, too. Visit the Department of Education’s best practices for distance learning page.

Make time for something physical. Gulf Coast State College coaches are offering online instructional videos for kids to help out, the Panama City News Herald reports.

Remember, teachers can do only so much. That makes parents’ role in education even more critical, the Palm Beach Post reports.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not working really hard. Their goal remains to keep students learning regardless of the hurdles, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Still, many students can’t participate. They lack the needed technology, the Associated Press reports.

No need for SROs, though. School cops are headed to other beats while campuses are closed, the Naples Daily News reports.

A little nonvirus-related news still happens. A Holmes County educator still found the time to announce his candidacy for district superintendent, the Holmes County Times Advertiser reports. • A St. Johns County high school athletic trainer is arrested on accusations of secretly recording a female student while changing clothes after school, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Did you miss yesterday’s roundup? Here’s the link, just in case.

Before you go ... Dr. Seuss might be gone, but his spirit lives on. And someone has channeled his style to offer some inspiration to educators and students facing the new world order of learning from separate spaces. Lots of people are sharing it on social media. We thought we’d share, too. Do you like it, Sam-I-Am?

This distance learning-inspired Dr. Seuss parody is circulating in Florida educators' Facebook groups as they prepare to teach their students from afar because of coronavirus. [ Facebook ]