Runcie: ‘Enormously difficult’ to run schools during coronavirus pandemic

Broward County School Board meets Tuesday

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Nearly a week after Broward County public school students started classes online, Superintendent Robert Runcie vented his frustration during a board meeting Tuesday.

Runcie said having students away from the school buildings during the coronavirus pandemic places a heavy burden on parents. It is also likely to impact the students’ academic growth, he said.

“It is enormously difficult to run a school district under these circumstances,” Runcie said during the virtual school board meeting.

Runcie added that if the current trends on COVID-19 cases continue the district will be ablet to open public school buildings in Broward sometime this fall.

“The path of the virus will drive the decisions we have to make,” Runcie said, adding that the positivity rate would need “to remain between 3 and 5% for 14 consecutive days.”

Broward County’s positivity rate has been under 5% since Friday, according to the Florida Department of Health. A key checkpoint, Runcie said will be after the Labor Day weekend. For now, Runcie will allow students to do work offline without screen time requirements.

“We will keep live and small group instruction across the content areas in the morning with necessary breaks and provide flexibility in the afternoon time,” Runcie said.

A look at the data


Broward’s recent day-to-day positivity rate has been below 10% since Aug. 12. Runcie needs it to remain between 3 to 5% for 14 consecutive days.

Monday (Aug. 24): 5.66%

Sunday (Aug. 23): 4.27%.

Saturday (Aug. 22): 4.38%.

Friday (Aug. 21): 4.89%.

Thursday (Aug. 20): 6.56%.


About the Authors:

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. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.