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Miami-Dade County Public Schools to announce reopening plan next week

Parent advocacy groups say they want seat at decision-making table

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Officials from Miami-Dade County Public Schools say they will announce details of their reopening plan a week from Wednesday.

Some Local 10 News viewers have said any option that involved children spending time at home in continuation of distance learning could prove problematic for working parents who can’t afford full-time childcare.

“There’s a real issue around folks being able to stay home in the event there is a blended model of instruction, and some kids need to stay home. There’s some real concern that is not feasible,” Mina Hosseini said.

Hosseini is the executive director of P.S. 305, a non-profit advocacy group helping families navigate the education system.

“Our parents really want to sit on this working group and provide some input,” she said.

On Tuesday, the Broward County School Board announced its looking at a hybrid staggered model for the fall.

“We’re going to school on some days, others at home,” Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said.

Runcie said the decision was based on teacher and parent feedback that indicated a preference for either the hybrid model or fully re-opening schools.

They are also working to accommodate parents who want to keep their children at home with a continuation of e-learning.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools also sent online surveys to parents.

“Parents definitely have strong opinions, and they are important to us as we contemplate the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Albert Carvalho said last month. “Sending out an online survey to ask them what their experience is may not be enough.”

Hosseini said incorporating the parent stakeholder perspective is crucial as plans are drafted for the upcoming school year during this unprecedented time in education.

“Shift the paradigm from parent involvement, which is sending out a parent survey, to parent engagement, which is really bringing parents to the table and having conversations with them, learning and listening,” she said.

Hosseini said her organization currently holds bi-weekly parent leadership meetings “to brainstorm solutions to the challenges we face amid a new education landscape.”

Below is a list of P.S. 305’s top priorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Ensure that all MDCPS instructional continuity plans incorporate a trauma-informed approach to student learning.
  • Require the district to survey and publish data on device distributions to ensure transparency of distance learning access for Miami-Dade students.
  • Improve and expand social and emotional learning support in Miami-Dade schools.

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