On September 22, at their respective school board meetings, both Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) decided to delay the restart of face-to-face classes.
BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie had initially recommended students up to 8th-grade return to the classroom on Oct. 5 and students from 9th to 12th-grade return on Oct. 12.
But during the meeting, Runcie and the Broward County School Board agreed to open schools beginning Wednesday, October 14 for some students and Tuesday, October 20 for the remainder of students.
Students in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 6th Grade, and 9th Grade will begin on October 14 and benefit from the extra week of adjustment. The remainder of students are due to begin on Tuesday, October 20.
Runcie said the district will accommodate students and teachers whose health issues increase their risk of coronavirus infection, but he said outbreaks are inevitable.
“We can’t let perfect stand in the way of good,” Runcie said during the meeting. “There is no guarantee that we will ever have a 100% COVID-free environment. Issues will emerge and we will correct them, we will learn from them and we will make adjustments as necessary.”
In the meantime, the MDCPS, at their school board meeting, voted unanimously to delay the start of in-person instruction to at least Oct. 14.
Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho initially recommended Monday that students return beginning on September 30.
Students will return to school in a staggered approach (group by group or grade by grade), with all students in physical classrooms by Oct. 21.
Carvalho said this approach is “to allow school sites to test their health and social distancing protocols and make necessary adjustments.”
According to the district, parents will have the option to let their children continue learning virtually.
In Palm Beach Country, students went back to school on Monday, September 21, but the reopening was not smooth sailing. The School District of Palm Beach County Facebook page received complaints from parents about many teachers being absent from classes.
According to the Palm Beach Post, roughly one-third of students in the district actually showed up to school and more than 900 teachers (representing one in twelve) were absent.