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Gov. DeSantis holds out hope for reopening Florida schools this spring

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.

Are you ready to relax? It’s actually a holiday today, and classes on are break. Go ahead. After all the hard work ramping up to remote learning, you deserve it. But first, Florida education news.

“If it’s safe, we want kids to be in school.” Gov. Ron DeSantis says schools should reopen in May, if possible. And it might happen for some before others, he adds.

Some parents would love to see that happen. Distance learning is frustrating them.

High school seniors, too. Tampa Bay area districts still hold out hope they can hold graduation ceremonies. • Treasure Coast teens say they feel robbed of their activities, TC Palm reports. • Okaloosa County’s superintendent promises that won’t happen for his Class of 2020, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

In the meantime, step away from the computer. It’s Good Friday. The school calendar says “non-student day.” Really.

Maybe take a run. That’s what Hillsborough School Board member Lynn Gray would do.

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Hillsborough County School Board member Lynn Gray leads a training session in November, 2019. These days she recommends keeping much greater distances. [FACEBOOK | Handout]

‘Less is more.’ Teachers should make sure they don’t overload their students with assignments, Pinellas County teachers union president Mike Gandolfo says.

Teachers have other worries, too. Like saying a child is present if they don’t actually see them. “If something happened to the child, or the child got in trouble or something, what is the liability?" Orange County teachers union president Wendy Doromal told WFTV.

Every dollar helps. The Vinik Family Foundation has donated $50,000 to a fund helping cash-strapped USF students get by.

Should colleges refund students? They’re not exactly getting all they paid for this semester, the Miami Herald reports.

Can distance learning serve students with special needs? Some central Florida school districts are trying to adjust to the new model, WUFT reports.

Everything is going online. Even the town hall session to meet Marion County’s two superintendent finalists, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

Did you miss yesterday’s news? Here’s the link.

Before you go ... One way Pasco County principals are keeping in touch with their students is by sending out social media birthday wishes. Some of them have made it a competition. That’s brought out the creativity in Land O’Lakes High principal Ric Mellin. Check out one of his latest.

To keep up on the latest stories from around Florida, visit the Tampa Bay Times Gradebook. Join our daily Facebook conversation to share your views. And be sure to share this roundup with your friends and colleagues. Know someone who might want to sign up for the Gradebook newsletter? Share this link. We want to hear your remote learning survival stories. Send an e-mail to jsolochek@tampabay.com. - Jeff

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