BROWARD COUNTY – While the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida continues to climb, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) has announced several measures to assist students and parents deal with the pressures of the virus.
Immediately after closing schools in response to the spread of the coronavirus, BCPS opened nine feeding sites across the county where families could safely pick up grab-and-go meals, no questions asked. S
Starting on Monday, March 30, they will open 47 sites across the District and will add more locations, if needed.
As many students now transition to online learning, On March 20, BCPS distributed more than 64,000 laptop computers to students across Broward. This was made possible through the taxpayers of Broward County, who passed the SMART Bond referendum, which allowed for the purchase over 95,000 computing devices and reduce the student to computer ratio from 6:1 to 2:1, and in many grade levels it is now 1:1.
Because of this investment, BCPS is now technology-rich and ready, which is needed now more than ever. There will be a second distribution on Saturday, March 28 for parents and guardians who were unable to go to their child’s school for the first distribution, or if the school ran out of laptop computers.
The laptop computers and online learning environment were configured with students’ safety and security in mind including restrictions on downloading and installing third-party programs and content filtering to limit access to inappropriate websites.
In a statement, Superintendent Robert W. Runcie announced other measures including free childcare services.
“It has been estimated that between five and 15% of our healthcare workers may have to stay home as schools and businesses close. This could create a significant hardship on an already stressed healthcare system. To help curb the impact that school closures will have on our community, BCPS temporarily offered free childcare services at nine locations for families of emergency first responders and medical personnel.
We have also heard of an additional struggle our healthcare workers are having – securing supplies. Some compare it to being “at war with no ammo.” Our medical workers should not have to put their lives at unnecessary risk to save others. To help, we will start donating medical supplies from our schools’ allied health programs and the medical programs at our three BCPS technical colleges. We will also collect supplies from school clinics in our elementary, middle and high schools.”