Broward public schools adjust to an additional 21,000+ students returning to classroom desks

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – As the second semester started, Broward County Public Schools reassigned some teachers from virtual learning to schoolhouses to deal with an increase in students who returned to classrooms’ desks on Wednesday.

This upset 9-year-old David Miller. The fourth-grade student said his favorite teacher was one of them, and without her, the lack of continuity was confusing.

“He became attached to his teacher. She is fantastic,” David’s father, Alex Miller, said. “Even though the schools are adamant that it’s safer in brick and mortar, I just don’t believe it and I don’t trust it.”

David won’t be following his teacher back to Margate Elementary School. The state of the coronavirus pandemic isn’t helping to change his parents’ minds. But officials said the parents of more than 20,000 students have opted for the change.

According to BCPS schools’ count of students in grades pre-K to 12, about 58,465 students were in schoolhouses on Wednesday, as opposed to the estimated 37,162 who walked into classrooms on Oct. 31.

Wednesday’s official attendance reported an increase of 21,303 students who switched from a virtual at-home education to a schoolhouse classroom this semester.

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie said on Monday the number of parents who are sending their children to public schoolhouses increased, so some schools could reach a 60% capacity.

“We will probably have a handful of schools that we’ll have to make some adjustments,” Runcie said about the indoor capacity limitations related to social distancing.

BCPS also granted more than 600 teachers who are at risk of dying of COVID-19 remote work assignments, according to the district.

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