Broward County schools will open on Aug. 19 for 2020-21 school year

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward County Public School District held news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the School Board’s decisions regarding options for the reopening of schools.

The big news is that schools in Broward County will reopen on August 19.

In preliminary conversations, the school board is weighing several options, and based on staff recommendations, the hybrid-staggered day model seems to be the most popular.

“Sometimes we call it blended model,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie. “Which effectively consists of staggered days, where students are going school a portion of the time on campus and the other portion they’re going at home.”

The model, which right now is just an initial idea, was formulated based on research.

District officials said the School Board received feedback from more than 80,000 parents/guardians, teachers, staff members and students, who all submitted their ideas for what the reopening of schools should look like.

Research from the Aspen Institute, Chiefs for Change, the Council of the Great City Schools, Florida Association of District School Superintendents, Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project, McKinsey & Company and other school districts were also taken into consideration.

Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco went before the board to talk about her concerns.

“You have people that want to physically go in and you got parents that don’t want their kids to go in,” said Fusco. “We should be able to accommodate that.”

Parents who are concerned with COVID-19 and want their children to stay home, there is an option for that.

“We will always have the e-learning, distance learning as a continued option,” Runcie said.

Runcie said the school board would like students to get at least 50% of their learning in a classroom setting.

“Some classrooms get 25 students in there. Now it’s going to be 50%. You’re going to have to spread the desk six feet apart. How is it going to get done in a timely manner? Who is actually doing it? Where does we stand when helping with the sanitizing...a lot of these questions are being asked,” Fusco said.

The superintendent also vowed to bring back athletics and other school activities by mid-July.

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