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Miami-Dade releases tentative plan to reopen schools during coronavirus pandemic

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Under Miami-Dade Public Schools’ new plan to reopen schools during the pandemic, parents will have three options: The traditional in-school model, the distance-online learning model and a hybrid model.

Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the plan’s options reflect the flexibility that parents in the community are asking for.

“I believe the social interaction between the students and the teachers is absolutely indispensable,” Carvalho said.

Some teachers will specialize on virtual learning and those who work on campus will receive personal protective equipment, Carvalho said. Students will be required to wear face masks and increased social distancing.

“We cannot guarantee six feet of distance,” Carvalho said about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.

Carvalho added the district and the teacher’s union are working together to renew the protocols for engagement between teachers and students.

Sandra West, the president of the Miami-Dade County Council Parent Teacher Association, is also part of the superintendent’s reopening workgroup.

“The fact that they’re starting with parental choice is a good place to start,” West said.

Karla Hernandez, the president of the United Teachers of Dade, said the reopening workgroup contributed the tentative plan and will be addressing the impact of sick days if employees fall ill, paid quarantine time if needed, and accessible testing for employees at some MDCPS sites.

“Understanding the magnitude of the risks and benefits of reopening our educational facilities have always been a priority as assessments were made for the health, wellbeing, and education of our students and the professionals that care for them,” Hernandez said in a statement.

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