Thousands of Students Return for In-Person Learning
COVID-19 has turned education upside down. 2020 is unlike any other, with distance learning, Zoom meetings, and Google Classroom becoming a part of every parent’s discussion. For the past six months, school districts have pondered how to open schools and how to do it safely.
On October 5, Miami-Dade County public schools became one of the largest in the nation to welcome students back five days a week. The district believes that they can open their doors safely to a limited number of students on a staggered schedule.
Miami Gets the Greenlight for School Openings
According to reporting by Local 10 News, the Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho got the green light from medical experts to open schools slightly earlier than expected. The original in-person start date was slated for October 14, but a letter from Florida’s Education Commissioner may have prompted an earlier start.
The district expects around 22,000 students back on campus in the first wave. Thousands of students will continue to learn online through distance learning. The staggered start will help schools to maintain social distancing when possible.
Official Start Dates
Miami-Dade schools officially opened their doors on October 5, but the school year had started well over a month ago.
For in-person instruction, students were welcomed back according to the following schedule:
- October 5 – Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st Grade and special needs students
- October 7 – 2nd-6th Grade and 9th and 10th Grade
- October 9 – 7th-8th Grade and 11th and 12th Grade
In total, the district has nearly 400 schools and 345,000 students, but not all of those students have selected to return to in-person learning on campus. Many will remain remote throughout the rest of the 2020/21 school year.
The school district released its detailed approach to reopening schools safely. Miami-Dade students returning to school will receive instruction 5-days a week. In consulting with the Florida Department of Education, Florida Department of Health, and local health officials, the district came up with a number of measures for the return to “face-to-face learning.”
Safety measures include:
- Limiting the sharing of items
- Required face coverings
- Arranging desks to promote social distancing
- Temperature and symptom checks
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Increased cleaning and sanitization protocols
Preparing for Shutdowns
Across the country, some schools have opened only to be forced to shut down because of outbreaks of the virus. Miami-Dade hopes that with its comprehensive safety plan, closures will be less likely, but they are prepared in the event that students or teachers test positive.
About Mase Mebane
2020 will likely continue to be marked by uncertainty. At Mase Mebane, we know that this can be a trying time. The pandemic has touched everyone’s life in one way or another. We hope that you and your family are staying safe and remaining healthy.
Our attorneys are here for you. We have been serving Miami and the South Florida area for over two decades. Contact our office at (844) 627-3529 or visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more information, including a daily breakdown of Florida’s cases.