Younger Catholic school students return to campuses in South Florida

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Archdiocese of Miami reopened Catholic schools Wednesday for in-person learning for some students.

“It’s been long awaited, for sure. It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Eduardo Flor, who is the principal of St. Mary’s Cathedral School.

On Wednesday, Catholic school students in Kindergarten through Second grade returned to the classroom for the first time in months.

“We’re very happy to have our students, who are the life of our campus back on. But it always comes with a little bit of worry in terms of making sure everyone is safe,” Flor said.

Administrators at St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Little Haiti said they’re more than ready, having implemented a campus-wide mask policy and a new health and temperature screening before kids can even walk in.

“We’ve done multiple protocols from making sure that we’re doing extra cleaning, sanitizers in, you know, all the popular areas,” Flor said.

The Broward County School Board, meanwhile, laid out plans on Tuesday for a staggered return for public school students.

“We’re on track to prepare to open toward the end of this marking period,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said.

The plan calls for select grades to return in three weeks, on Oct. 14, with all remaining grades following over the next week.

“The first full day for all classes for all students at all schools will be Oct. 20,” Runcie said.

Miami-Dade Public Schools is taking a similar approach.

School board members voted unanimously on Tuesday to delay their staggered reopening until at least Oct. 14 with most students back in physical classrooms by Oct. 21.

“It provides additional time to redouble our efforts in terms of ensuring all protocols are what they are expected to be,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said.

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