Educational leaders in Miami-Dade, Broward respond to state mandate ordering all schools open this fall

The Florida Department of Education is telling schools throughout the state to reopen for in-person classes this fall.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Education is telling schools throughout the state to reopen for in-person classes this fall.

School leaders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are now responding to the mandate.

The state’s executive order says all schools must open at least five days a week and local plans must be approved in Tallahassee.

The order, coincidentally, came on the same day President Donald Trump said all schools must open in the fall.

The state order also allows school districts to move their first day of school, depending on current pandemic conditions

It also allows them to decide how to reopen based on advice from local public health experts.

Read the full order below:

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said decisions are in part being driven by what parents want.

"We will never compromise the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff," Runcie said.

A school survey of parents in Broward so far shows 26% of them prefer online learning, 37% the hybrid model and 34% the in-school model.

“One thing is clear. At this time we do not see a realistic path to opening all district schools with 100% full enrollment every day as we were before we closed schools due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Runcie said.

Meanwhile in Miami-Dade, around 60% of parents prefer the in-school model, while around 30% of parents prefer the online model.

“We believe we will be able to continue to give parents the options that we have discussed,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

Plans to reopen schools in Miami-Dade are linked to being in phase two, but we’re still in phase one, with a growing number of cases.

“We will not transition to a full model of traditional education in the schoolhouse,” said Carvalho. “That’s virtually impossible. It would be reckless.”

More Resources:

Miami-Dade County program choices for students

Broward County program choices for students

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.