Broward schools superintendent ‘very concerned’ about rising coronavirus numbers

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie says there’s reason for concern about rising coronavirus numbers and that parents should continue to have a choice whether to send their children to school in person or to have them continue online learning.

“I’m very concerned that I see the trends moving in the wrong direction,” Runcie said Thursday at Gulfstream Early Learning Center, where he was reading to a group of students.

The Sun Sentinel is reporting that virtual learning may no longer be an option in January, that Gov. Ron DeSantis is considering requiring in-person learning.

But Runcie says some parents would be more comfortable with their kids finishing the rest of the school year online.

“Families need to have choice,” he said.

Broward schools have recorded about 150 cases of COVID-19 at 93 sites over the past 30 days. A state report posted Wednesday showed that nearly 500 schools across South Florida have had confirmed coronavirus cases since early September.

Runcie said his school district is doing everything it can to control the spread of the virus.

“We practice social distancing, there’s extensive cleaning that goes on in schools,” he said. "We’re using new technology like misters. Every school has an isolation room with a nurse, health technicians there as well.”

In Miami-Dade County there are almost 280 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

“We know that our teachers are scared,” said Karla Hernández-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade. “We know that the spiking of cases, we’re seeing it district-wide.”

About the Authors: