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Adapting to distance learning model presents challenges to Broward parents, teachers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County school board members voted in favor of Superintendent Robert Runcie’s back-to-school plan, which addresses both distance learning and an eventual return to the classrooms.

Elle Watkins is among the parents who are concerned about having to adjust to distance learning when classes begin Aug. 19. Her daughter Kai Rocket is going into kindergarten and she will be attending a church program that is stepping in to help parents with childcare needs.

“We are scared,” Watkins said.

Broward County Public Schools is also preparing to reassess when they will reopen school buildings again for working parents like Watkins who need to send their children back to a safe classroom. Adapting to the change is still presenting challenges for parents and teachers.

According to Burton Miller, the president of the Broward Parent Teacher Association, distance learning can create complications for parents who have language barriers and lack of connectivity.

“Some of the families last year were actually going to store parking lots, restaurant parking lots and sitting in their cars and having their kids do their homework,” Miller said.

Anna Fusco, the Broward Teachers Union president, said there are many details that still need to be adjusted including the system to keep track of students’ attendance.  

“There needs to be a process to count a student in the class being able to take attendance without being on live video,” Fusco said.

Broward County parents concerns on distance learning include having access to Wi-fi.
Broward County parents concerns on distance learning include having access to Wi-fi. (Local 10 News)

HELP FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES

The district continues to work with AT&T and Comcast to help ensure access to $5 and $10 per month broadband internet services.

The district has distributed more than 100,000 laptops and has 20,000 more for students and teachers in need.


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