Broward Schools finalize plans for coronavirus issues, bracing for all possibilities

School board reached out to multiple entities for guidance in preparing for COVID-19

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Concerns over COVID-19 are causing fears in the classroom.

School districts are meeting in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties in an attempt to put a plan in place as more cases of coronavirus are confirmed in South Florida.

In Broward, the school board said Tuesday that it has finalized its pandemic plan.

It covered things as minor as requiring a student to stay home, or as major as shutting down entire buildings of the situation warrants.

"Our staff here at the district has been literally working daily as the situation continues to develop," said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. "(We are) considering other restrictions, precautions and measures we can take to ensure that our students, our staff and our community are safe as possible."

With Broward County declaring a state of emergency, the school district is in constant touch with the Florida Board of Education, the CDC and other entities for guidance.

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As of this week, all school sponsored international and out of state field trips have been cancelled.

"We’ve also suspended all staff travel from March 9th going forward, and we’re considering looking at possible further restrictions within the state of Florida," Runcie said.

During Tuesday's workshop meeting, which involved members of the school board and the superintendent, Broward County's educational channel, or Becon TV, was highlighted as an untapped viable resource.

Currently, the station highlights school sports functions and games to parents and students, but with so many interested in the impact of the coronavirus, new information can be shared there too.

Distance learning for students is another option.

"Effective communication across the board, especially with our stakeholders, is going to be essential for us to get through this challenge in a way that we can do it safely," Runcie said.

The superintendent added that there has yet to be any possible coronavirus incidents with any students or staff in Broward County.

“At this moment, we are not aware of any particular student or staff or employee in the district that has come to us with any symptoms, flu like symptoms or of any concern,” he said.

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