Broward schools superintendent asks 3 administrators to resign, sources say
Amid pressure from Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration, Broward County Public Schools superintendent asked three administrators to resign or take a leave of absence while they remain under investigation, according to sources who are familiar with the BCPS administration.
Grand jury warns of alleged ‘mismanagement’ of Broward schools’ SMART bond project
More than half of a recent report by the state grand jury that the Florida Supreme Court empaneled as a response to the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland focused on a program funded by Broward County taxpayers
Summer classes begin at Broward County public schools with a record 45,000 students
Nearly 100 Broward County public schools kicked off the six-week summer program on Monday with a larger student enrollment than expected. The district usually welcomes about 8,000 students. This year, they will have about 45,000.
Runcie perjury charge should be dismissed, attorney argues
Robert Runcie is seeking for his perjury charge to be thrown out, with an attorney for the outgoing Broward County Public Schools superintendent arguing in court Wednesday that prosecutors haven’t specified what he is accused of lying about to a grand jury.
Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie may walk away with $740,000+
Negotiations resumed Monday between Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie’s attorney and Broward School Board Chair Dr. Rosalind Osgood regarding the superintendent’s separation agreement, and Runcie could soon be walking away with a whopping $740,000.
‘I am confident that I will be vindicated,’ Runcie says following indictment
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie released a video message Tuesday, thanking people and organizations for their support and saying that he believes he will be vindicated after a grand jury indicted him for perjury.
Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie arrested on perjury charge; School Board attorney also arrested
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie was arrested Wednesday morning on a charge of perjury in an official proceeding. School Board attorney Barbara Myrick was also arrested.
Broward schools announce graduation schedule for 2021
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools has released the schedule for this year’s graduation ceremonies, which will take place in-person. Dates, times and locations are listed for 48 high schools, technical colleges and special centers across the district. The district says that safety precautions will be in place and that graduates will each get two tickets for guests in an effort to control crowds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re excited to return to traditional pomp and circumstance, and to give our 2021 graduates and their families an in-person graduation experience,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said in a statement. “We can’t wait to provide memorable and celebratory events that honor and recognize the Class of 2021.”More information will be forthcoming from individual schools, the district says.
CDC releases new guidance for school safety
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The CDC released new guidelines for school safety, concerning COVID-19 protocols, Friday. However, in communities where transmission is high, middle and high school students should keep a distance of at least six feet. They cite three studies which say three feet between students in classrooms is safe, where masks are involved. The CDC recognizes the benefits of in-person learning, so they say it is critical for schools to remain open. Many districts throughout the nation have successfully mitigated transmission using three feet physical distancing while maintaining their other protocols including disciplined mask wearing.
Pay attention to oppressive Florida legislative proposals, advocates say
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Advocacy groups recently met in Miami-Dade County to denounce what they say are several oppressive Florida legislative proposals that are in the works. CRIMINAL LAW: PROTESTA Florida legislative proposal would make it easier to criminalize protesters and prevent civil litigation if a protester is a victim of police brutality. Florida Senate Bill 48 creates publicly funded educational savings accounts to help families pay for tuition at private schools. Florida Senate Bill 84 voids the state’s pension plan for a privatized 401(k) retirement plan. Florida Senate Bill 90 limits vote-by-mail applications to one election cycle and eliminates drop-off boxes.
Broward County Public Schools district faces budgetary uncertainty
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The School Board of Broward County met on Tuesday to discuss Broward County Public Schools’ next year’s budget which is based on a blend of federal, state and local funding. The state ties the disbursement of some funds for public education to the number of students enrolled in each district. “We need the kids back in school, not just for the money — because they belong in school,” Runcie said. The Florida Education Association opposes it because public schools are underfunded in Florida. The traditional public schools have to share federal funding with charter schools.
Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie announces plan is for schools to resume in-person learning this fall
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – It appears the plan in Broward County is to have students and teachers back in the classroom later this year. Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie announced on Wednesday that the plan is for all classes to take place in-person, starting this fall. “We have to plan as if we’re going to open up the next school year,” Runcie said. “We’ll still maintain some safety measures as necessary, depending on where we are.”Runcie made the announcement during a Broward School Board meeting Wednesday night. Currently, classes are being held in-person and online for some students.
After partial roof collapse, inspectors check safety of more Broward schools’ media centers
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools has inspectors checking on the structural safety of five schools’ media centers after a partial roof collapse at one of them. James S. Rickards Middle School at 6000 NE 9th Ave., in Oakland Park, was evacuated on Friday after a partial roof collapse in the media center’s $10.5 million renovation project. This aerial photo shows the partial roof collapse on Friday at James S. Rickards Middle School in Fort Lauderdale. Runcie said three firms are conducting independent investigations to figure out what caused the structure at James S. Rickards Middle to collapse. Oakland Park Fire-Rescue personnel took a few James S. Rickards Middle School students who complained of suffering from nausea and headaches after a partial roof collapse on Friday.
Exactly three years later, events and memorials held to honor victims of Parkland shooting
These were just a few of several events held across South Florida to mark the somber anniversary. AdSouth Florida remembers 17 victims of Parkland school shooting on three-year anniversary of tragedyAt Esplanade Park in Fort Lauderdale, city leaders joined students from Florida Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University for an event aimed at healing. Sunday’s events came after the school district held their own remembrance ceremonies on Friday. It’s an issue that is very important to them, especially after the events that took place at Stoneman Douglas. ADDITIONAL LINKSMoment of silence, other events mark three years since Parkland tragedyHow the Parkland shooting launched a new generation of activistsNever forgotten: 3 years later, remembering the school shooting tragedy in Parkland, in photosAdParkland parents print ‘shame cards’ ahead of school shooting anniversary3 years later, Parkland school shooting trial still in limbo
New CDC guidance: Schools are not associated with ‘substantial’ coronavirus transmission
DAVIE, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Friday saying that based on the data available, in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission of the coronavirus. The CDC determined teachers’ vaccinations are not a requirement to reopen schools. (WPLG)With partial reopenings, Miami-Dade and Broward school districts have provided diagnostic testing and contact tracing, and they are working on COVID-19 vaccine campaigns. “If our societies did what our school districts are doing, we’ve probably had no spread of coronavirus going on in our country,” Runcie said. AdWalensky said the new CDC guidance is instructive for this moment in time, but since the disease is not static school districts need to make adjustments.
Billboards by teachers union send message about ongoing disagreement with Broward superintendent
The Broward Teachers Union put up two billboards to bring awareness of their disagreement with school superintendent over forcing teachers back to the classroom who may be at risk for COVID-19. BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – They are continuing their fight against Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie’s directive that all teachers must be back in the classroom. As a follow up with their delivery of thousands of pairs of flip flops to community and business leaders earlier this week, the Broward Teachers Union posted two billboards that asks the question: “School Superintendent Robert Runcie? AdAccording to the superintendent, Broward Schools has allowed more than 600 teachers with underlying health issues to remain teaching online. The billboards point drivers to sign a petition at protectourteachers.net that asks the superintendent to protect medically high risk teachers by continuing to let them teach from home.
School principals to meet with union reps to explain why COVID-19 at-risk teachers can’t work remotely
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Principals at all Broward County public schools must meet with union representatives to explain the reasoning behind the denial of remote work extensions to vulnerable teachers, an arbitrator ruled. Arbitrator Roger I. Abrams issued a supplemental ruling on Wednesday that applies to 226 schools, departments, and centers in the BCPS system. The principals exercised their right to grant or deny remote assignments, and the meetings between principals and union representatives are meant to make sure that the remote work assignments were not granted or denied “in an arbitrary and capricious manner.”AdAnna Fusco, the BTU president, has accused Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie of not doing enough to protect teachers who are at risk of dying of COVID-19. “The less than 10% of educators who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 must be protected,” Fusco said. “With only about 27% of students back in the buildings, there is no reason this can’t be accomplished.”
Runcie says new school programs will help struggling students
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools launches a new plan to help the close to 60,000 students who are falling behind academically during the coronavirus pandemic. Superintendent Robert Runcie has attributed the low grades to difficulties with virtual learning and a need for more time with teachers in classrooms at the schoolhouse. “The good news is our students are coming back to school,” Runcie said. Broward will be adding an extensive six-week summer school program and he said he is developing programs to help struggling students catch up — including “Ask Bria,” a remote instructional assistant. Ad“We are not modifying the school year, what we’re doing is we are modifying opportunities to provide interventions to our students who need them,” Runcie said.
Flip-flops: Broward Teachers Union sends literal message to Superintendent Robert Runcie
TAMARAC, Fla. – Teachers in Broward County are sharing their coronavirus concerns with the public. Those educators believe Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie’s direction keeps flip-flopping, which is putting teachers at risk. “The pun is intended, flip-flopping around,” said Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco. According to the superintendent, Broward Schools has allowed more than 600 teachers with underlying health issues to remain teaching online. The CDC Director said when there is transmission in schools, it is likely the virus was brought in from the community.
Broward policy forces some students to ‘work independently’
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – After five teachers didn’t return to work at Beachside Montessori Village in Hollywood, some students were forced to “work independently.”Vanessa Cuomo, the mother of a Beachside Motessori Village student, said her 13-year-old daughter’s teachers for Algebra and Language Arts are not allowed to teach virtually. This is not a third-world nation.”Nelson Malhao is one of the Beachside Montessori Village teachers who are not being allowed to teach virtually. He said he is being replaced by a part-time teacher who will be able to work virtually. How is it fair to my kids?”Anna Fusco, the president of the Broward Teacher’s Union, said this is Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie’s fault. Broward County Public Schools released a statement saying the district has to operate in compliance with the Florida Department of Education’s order to have students “return to face-to-face learning.”
This Week in South Florida Full Episode: January 31, 2021
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – On the latest episode of This Week in South Florida hosts Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg are joined by Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Broward Teachers Union president Anna Fusco, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, South Florida medical professional Dr. Hansel Tookes and attorneys Melba Pearson and Rafael Yaniz. The full episode can be viewed at the top of this page.
This Week in South Florida: Robert Runcie
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – In the debate whether teachers may be required to get back into classrooms, all eyes are on Broward County this week. That’s where an arbitrator said yes to teachers returning in order to meet schools’ operational needs. Bolstering that opinion, the CDC last week reported finding “no significant spread” of COVID-19 in classrooms with proper precautions and evidence that all online learning is having negative effects on students. Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie joined This Week in South Florida hosts Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg to discuss, and their conversation can be seen at the top of this page
Social, emotional and academic effects of online learning may outweigh risks of virus
The accumulation of data was collected from international schools as well as schools in the United States. However, they warned that there is evidence that online and at home learning is affecting children socially, emotionally, and academically. “The reason we pushed to open schools is because having kids in person is better for the kids,” Florida Gov. “Our schools aren’t sources of spread for the pandemic,” Superintendent of Broward County Schools Robert Runcie said. And the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho said: “We know who’s losing ground.
Broward schools win ruling vs. teachers as controversy brews over social media ‘spying’
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An arbitration order released Monday night sided with Broward County Public Schools, saying the district may require teachers to return to the classroom to meet school operational needs. Of the 1,700 teachers with accommodations, the district says more than 600 have been granted extensions. “I didn’t know that they would have the audacity and the deplorable decision to put people out there on full blast,” said Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union. A recording from someone participating in the conference shows a social media posting from James Keith Calloway being pointed out, adding he is unmasked. Local 10 News asked the district about using the social media photos and why they may have used a photo of Calloway from 2019, but we’re still waiting for a response.
Arbitrator rules Broward School District can require teachers to resume in-person learning
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward Schools may require teachers to return to their classrooms to meet the operational needs of schools, an arbitrator ordered Monday. For weeks, the Broward School District and the Broward Teachers Union have been dueling over how to move forward. The arbitration hearing was held Jan. 21-23, following a Jan. 7 lawsuit the Broward Teachers Union filed on behalf of 1,700 teachers who the district granted accommodations to continue working remotely because of serious underlying health conditions. “It is not within the Arbitrator’s power to decide whether it is a good idea or a bad idea to have teachers return to their classrooms, said Arbitrator Roger Abrams. “Principals must now provide documents justifying their decisions,” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said.
School employees and military veterans among those receiving COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend
Both Broward and Miami-Dade began vaccinating eligible school employees, meaning those ages 65 and over, against the novel coronavirus. The school district partnered with the Department of Health in Broward County to make it happen. Teachers and school staff were not the only ones receiving the first round of the vaccine this weekend. “They are the most at-risk.”As supply and access for the general public over 65 remains an issue, Florida Lt. Gov. Each week we get informed what our (vaccine) allocation will be.”On Sunday the Miami-Dade County branch of the NAACP called for a comprehensive and equitable approach to distributing the vaccine.
Broward teachers retire, saying ‘it’s not worth my health’
“You force people back into the schools that are the most critically ill,” Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said. Superintendent Robert Runcie said teachers are needed back in the classroom, especially for the students who are falling behind academically. The school district is coordinating with the health department of Broward to get teachers and staff who are 65 and older vaccinated in the near future. District employees will be receiving additional information on how to register for an appointment. For more details on the Broward teachers leaving this year, compared to last, click here.
70+ Broward teachers leaving; union slams relaxed social distancing at schools
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In Broward County, more than 70 teachers have decided to quit or retire. The three-page list is part of Wednesday’s school board agenda and comes as the Broward Teachers Union speaks out against what they say is a relaxation of social distancing measures in the county’s public schools. Also on Tuesday, Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said educators fear returning to physical classrooms, especially for those teachers who have critical illnesses. You can watch replays of both news conferences below:Broward teachers speak out on relaxed social distancing rules Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco is holding a news conference to express “outrage and grave concerns” over what the union says are relaxed social distancing guidelines at the county’s public schools. It comes minutes after the teachers' union held a press conference sharing concerns about a lack of social distancing at schools.
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. The fourth-grade student said his favorite teacher was one of them, and without her, the lack of continuity was confusing. But officials said the parents of more than 20,000 students have opted for the change. 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.
Runcie says Broward teachers needed in classroom, ‘frustrated’ union hopes judge steps in
That means there’s likely to be an influx of students in the classroom, so the district wants more teachers there, too. But the teachers’ union says making immunocompromised educators go back to school in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic puts their lives at risk. About 1,600-1,700 Broward teachers used to teach from home. “I guess I’ve gone through the different stages of being angry and bothered and now I’m just, you know, I’m scared for them,” said Anna Fusco, the Broward Teachers Union president. In a lawsuit filed against the district to stop the teachers from going back, the union called the move reckless.
Broward teachers return to classroom Monday amid COVID-19 concerns
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – More than a thousand Broward County teachers who have been working from home during the pandemic were to return to the physical classroom on Monday morning, days after the Broward Teachers Union filed a lawsuit to try and stop the move. The suit was filed by the BTU when the school district announced it would no longer accommodate 1,700 teachers who were working from home because of underlying conditions or concerns about exposure to COVID-19. On Friday, Superintendent Robert Runcie said the district has been working for weeks on extending accommodations to teachers. Broward School District Superintendent Robert Runcie said the district expects up to 50 percent of students to return to the classroom in the second semester which starts Monday. “I don’t believe the everyday operation of every school needs 100 percent of teachers on campus,” Fusco said.
Broward Schools’ superintendent says more teachers needed in classrooms rather than online
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie calls it a balance of three realities: Concern for teachers’ health, making sure failing students get ahead academically, and limiting virus spread in schools. But the topic that’s top of mind is a lawsuit filed by the Broward Teachers’ Union. President Anna Fusco held a press conference Thursday, where she announced BTU filed suit against Broward Schools in response to a decision by the district to end an agreement. The agreement covered special work-from-home accommodations for teachers and support staff with serious medical conditions. Both the district and the union agree on one thing: that teachers should be at the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Broward Teachers Union files lawsuit over end of work-at-home accommodations
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Time is running out for hundreds of teachers in Broward County. Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco held a press conference Thursday , where she announced BTU filed a lawsuit against Broward Schools in response to a decision by the Broward School District to end the special work-from-home accommodations for teachers and support staff with serious medical conditions. I would say they’re probably safer than going to the grocery store or to the mall,” Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie said. Parents whose children are in Broward County School District are still able to choose between online learning or having them go back to school in the classroom. Citing no clear-cut plan by the school district, Fusco said time is running out.
Broward teachers at risk for COVID to lose work-from-home protection on Friday
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – There are about 1,700 Broward County Public School teachers who have serious underlying health conditions. On Friday, Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie is putting an end to teachers’ special work-from-home accommodation during the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent Broward County Public Schools’ survey, 39% of the parents who responded said they are ready to send their kids back into the schoolhouse. Sarah Leonardi, a newly elected Broward School Board member, said teachers are scared. “They were granted those accommodations because of health conditions that are not ending on January 8th,” said Anna Fusco, the president of the Broward County Teachers Union.
Schools reopen with technical difficulties, worries about underperformance and virus
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Monday marked the return to school in Broward County after winter break, and online learning was disrupted by technical difficulties. To start with the technical issues, the county’s public school district sent a note to parents Monday morning that read:“Broward County Public Schools is experiencing intermittent district-wide internet access issues impacting all cloud-based workloads including Teams, Office 365, VPN and SharePoint. Broward County Public Schools implemented a hybrid learning model in early October in which students can be present in the classroom if they choose, or decide to continue with virtual instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers worry about virus spreadAs coronavirus positivity rates keep elevating concern, the return of thousands of students back to the physical classroom has teachers worried. Ron DeSantis has been adamant about bringing students back to the classroom, saying spread in schools is minimal.
Superintendents: Grades show some students really need to go back to classrooms
MIAMI – More public school students are failing than usual in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and superintendents believe it’s related to online education during the coronavirus pandemic. Superintendents Robert Runcie and Alberto Carvalho have both said online education is not for everyone and there are students who need to be in the same room with their teachers to succeed. “We know who’s losing ground, and there are some children who need to return to the schoolhouse,” Carvalho said during a school board meeting. “We see students who were previously high performing students, some of them are struggling under this method,” Runcie said. Both districts are asking the parents of students with failing grades to reconsider sending them to school.
Officials say it will take several more days for flooding to recede in parts of Broward
Officials say the fact that it keeps raining is making it take longer for the water to recede. The Public Works Department is currently running five pumps in the town of Davie. “You got to be careful where you pump because you could be helping one community at the expense of another one, so it’s a balancing act,” Davie Public Works Director Osdel Larrea said. I’ve been here 31 years and I’ve never seen in 31 years this much,” said Matt Crowley, of the Central Broward Water Control District. Meanwhile, many schools in Broward had to go back to online learning this week due to flooding and power issues.
Some believe more than 40 schools should have closed as South Floridians faced flooding
MIRAMAR, Fla. – Tropical Storm Eta’s flooding forced officials to close 40 public schools in South Florida, but some believe more schools should have been closed to give parents, students, and teachers a chance to recover from the storm. Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie are dealing with issues of water penetration, power loss, and flooding. There were 17 schools closed in Miami-Dade and 23 schools in Broward. MIAMI-DADE SCHOOLSStudents in 17 flooded Miami-Dade schools return to online learning17 schools closed: 5 in Hialeah, 5 in Miami Gardens and 3 in Miami Lakes. BROWARD COUNTYFlooding rampant in Lauderhill following impact of Tropical Storm Eta23 schools closed: 4 in Davie, 4 in Miramar, 3 in Weston, 3 in Pembroke Pines, 2 in Pompano Beach, 2 in Hollywood, and 2 in Lauderhill.
Schools in Miami-Dade and Broward to reopen Tuesday
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties will resume teaching on Tuesday. A list of 16 of those schools can be seen in the tweet below:Learning resumes at all @MDCPS schools tomorrow, November 10. #Eta pic.twitter.com/RISTiwETx7 — Miami-Dade Schools (@MDCPS) November 9, 2020Joella C. Good Elementary was also added to the list of schools that will be online-only on Tuesday. All schools in Miami-Dade and Broward were closed Monday due to Tropical Storm Eta. The vast majority of @MDCPS schools are reporting a high level of readiness to reopen on Tuesday.
Schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe closed Monday due to Tropical Storm Eta
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced earlier Sunday that schools would be closed, but Broward County Public Schools first announced they would be conducting classes virtually. Earlier in the day, a robocall went out from Superintendent Robert Runcie alerting parents that school on Monday would be online-only. Now, BCPS is canceling all classes due to concerns of possible widespread power outages to the district’s eLearning environment. In Monroe County, all schools will be closed on Monday (including virtual), with plans to open on Tuesday if conditions allow, according to Kristen Livengood, public information officer for Monroe County. Get the latest on Tropical Storm Eta by clicking here.
Broward school board now has 2 members who lost family in Parkland tragedy
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After Debbi Hixon’s election win Tuesday night, there are now two family members of people who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who will be serving on the Broward School Board. But both of them want to make it clear: That association with MSD is not all they’re bringing to the board. Hixon, whose husband was killed in the Parkland mass shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, joins current board member Lori Alhadeff, who lost her 14-year-old daughter in the tragedy. “Being the wife of Chris, who was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, it gave me a stronger voice,” Hixon said. "The tragedy that happened at MSD and the loss of my daughter Alyssa definitely was the catalyst to make me want to be on the school board to make sure change happens and make school safety a top priority,” she said.
Coronavirus: Doctor fears South Florida is ‘on the cusp of a second surge’
MIAMI – Emergency room doctors say this is a crucial time, with South Florida on the brink of a second surge of the coronavirus. “I think we are on the cusp of a second surge,” said Dr. Randy Katz, chairman of emergency medicine at Memorial Regional Hospital. Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus drivers say they are concerned school officials are not letting them know if the students sent home to quarantine were also on their routes. “We have to make sure that once the students are being tested, our bus drivers are being tested,” she said. Miami-Dade’s school district said it is in communication with the bus drivers about positive cases and added that the entire bus fleet is sanitized each evening.
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. But Runcie says some parents would be more comfortable with their kids finishing the rest of the school year online. 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.
Public schools prepare to use thousands of rapid antigen tests to detect coronavirus in risky areas
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Public schools' superintendents in South Florida are preparing to put to use thousands of rapid antigen tests for coronavirus screenings in high-risk congregate settings. A little more than 37,000 students are back in Broward classrooms, but the district has only received about 5,700 rapid tests. There are molecular tests, such as the RT-PCR tests, that detect the virus’s genetic material. There are also antigen tests, such as the Abbott rapid tests, that detect proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. Priority testing should not be considered rapid testing sites.
More parents looking to send students back to Broward schools, Runcie says
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – As the last wave of students joined the phased return to classrooms Thursday, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said that about 30,000 students have opted for in-person learning. “We do actually have parents who are continuing to call to come in.”Thursday marked the return of Broward students in grades 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12. Runcie said Broward schools are actively answering calls from parents who now want to send their students back to school, as there is still room. Meanwhile, high school sports teams have been given the green light to begin practicing in Broward, but there are strict rules. Practices at Western High School and Cypress Bay High were suspended after positive cases relating to football and cheerleading team members.
Broward County schools allowing sports practices; two football programs already suspend workouts due to COVID-19 cases
COOPER CITY, Fla. – Fall sports are back at Broward County schools, but COVID-19 is already having an impact on practices. Up until the beginning of this week student athletes were only permitted to participate in strength and conditioning, both indoors and outdoors. Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie toured Cooper City High School Wednesday afternoon as the district moved into phase 3 of return to play for high school sports. “We have suspended practices at two schools,” Runcie said. "It’s the football program at Western High School for the junior varsity, and we also had a case with a cheerleader at Cypress Bay High School.
Runcie asks parents to keep up wellness checks before sending kids to school during pandemic
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Superintendent Robert Runcie said Friday afternoon that he was proud of the way public schools reopened to about 12,500 students in Broward County. Runcie said the district’s ability to continue to keep the schools open will depend on how parents and guardians are protecting their children from coronavirus infections. “Do those health and wellness checks in the morning,” Runcie said in a message to parents. “Please be cognizant of the interaction your child is having out in the community.”The next round of students will arrive at Broward public schools on Tuesday and Thursday. Runcie said the return of the students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st and 2nd grade was a success.
Public school students begin returning to classrooms in Broward County
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Public school students in Pre-K through Second grade, as well as ESE students, returned to physical classrooms Friday in Broward County. During a stop Tuesday at Hollywood Park Elementary School, administrators showed off the spaced out desks and new plexiglass barriers. There are six Broward public schools that are not reopening at this time because of either construction or electrical issues. Those schools are Eagle Point Elementary, Gulfstream K-8 Academy, Oakridge Elementary, Royal Palm Elementary, Walker Elementary and Rickards Middle School. Parents of children who go to those schools should have heard from the district about a different reopening date.
Robert Runcie gets mixed reviews from Broward school board
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – It’s been a year marked by unprecedented challenges, and Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is getting mixed reviews from school board members who discussed his performance at their meeting Tuesday. Overall, Runcie received a grade of 2.8 out of 4 from the board. Board member Lori Alhadeff gave Runcie poor marks for a lack of communication and confusion over how schools would be reopened. Runcie got high marks for academics and the quick shift to e-learning in the face of COVID-19. Between March and the end of summer we served over 3 million meals,” Runcie said.
Broward schools will have isolation rooms, mask mandates and other safety measures as students return
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – As Broward County’s public schools prepare to reopen their doors to some students Friday, district officials are giving a rundown of the changes you can expect to see. During a stop at Hollywood Park Elementary, administrators showed off the spaced-out desks and new plexiglass barriers intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We have extra PPE equipment and materials, if we should need it,” said Antonio Lindsay, the interim principal at Hollywood Park Elementary. Like Miami-Dade, Broward is also taking a phased-in approach, with pre-kindergarten through 2nd graders allowed to come back starting Friday. The school year began in August with students taking online classes.
Broward County School Board decides to start gradual reopening on Oct. 9
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward County School Board voted unanimously on Thursday to start the gradual reopening of schoolhouses on Oct. 9. School Board members decided not to reopen schoolhouses on Monday, as Miami-Dade County Public Schools is planning on doing. Before the vote, Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie told school board members there was a significant amount of funding on the table if they didn’t start the staggered reopenening on Oct. 9. The union had opposed the originally planned Oct. 14 reopening day. BTU President Anna Fusco said teachers were asking school board members not to cave to political pressure coming from Gov.
Broward considers following Miami-Dade and reopening schools Oct. 5
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After the Miami-Dade County School Board decided to begin reopening schoolhouses on Oct. 5, the Broward County School Board will be meeting on Thursday morning to consider doing the same. Broward School Board Chair Donna Korn said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie shared Corcoran’s request with school board members. Broward County Teachers Union President Anna Fusco said many teachers and administrators don’t feel ready to come back to schools so soon. She also said she believes the school board will do what is right for Broward County. Parents of Broward County public school students can submit public comments before the Thursday morning meeting by submitting this form.
Broward School Board to hold emergency meeting Thursday to discuss state’s demand to re-open classrooms by Oct. 5
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Broward County School Board is planning an emergency meeting for later this week to get feedback from parents about the demand from Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran that schools must reopen classrooms by Oct. 5. The school board is leaning toward maintaining the plan already in place. “This is not something that the district has been sitting on, this just came to Mr. Runcie’s desk, he shared it with the board and we are now sharing it with the public and acting as quickly as possible," said Broward School Board Chair Donna Korn. Over the weekend, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said their state-approved reopening plan called for continuing virtual learning through Oct. 16, which would be the end of the first marking period. Thursday’s emergency school board meeting will take place at 10:30 a.m. and members will be hearing from parents, teachers and others before making a final decision.
Broward superintendent has no intention of changing agreed upon start of school date
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Schools Superintendent received the same three-page letter that was sent to Miami-Dade County Schools from the Florida’s Commissioner of Education. I hope our board holds their ground to ensure proper safety.”She called an earlier return to school “unfathomable negligence.”A special school board meeting has been called for Tuesday, according to MDCPS Chief Communications Officer Daisy Gonzalez-Diego. In a memo sent by Carvalho to the board, he announced that the meeting would be held “in person” in the School Board Administration Building auditorium. (See the letter below from Florida Department of Education to Miami Dade County Schools. Also, Miami superintendent’s memo to school board calling special meeting.)
This Week in South Florida Full Episode: Sept. 27, 2020
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Congressman Ted Deutch, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, congressional candidate Maria Elvira Salazar and Miami-Dade United Way Executive Director Maria Alonso join This Week in South Florida. The full episode can be seen at the top of this page.
This Week in South Florida: Robert Runcie
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – School children in South Florida haven’t been in their classrooms since March. Now there is a concentrated effort to get them back into school, even if their parents don’t agree. It’s a big, complicated puzzle that school board members, teachers and parents have been trying to solve for months. Leading the effort in Broward County is Superintendent Robert Runcie. He joined This Week in South Florida host Michael Putney to chat about the ongoing situation.
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 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. The Broward County School Board, meanwhile, laid out plans on Tuesday for a staggered return for public school students. “The first full day for all classes for all students at all schools will be Oct. 20,” Runcie said.
Broward school board recommends staggered return to in-person classes, beginning on Oct. 14
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It’s the first time in months that the Broward County School Board meets in person. Pre-K through 1st grade, grades six and nine, as well as ESE students, would return in clusters on Oct. 14, 15 and 16. Runcie’s comments can be seen in the video below:Runcie 9/22 WATCH LIVE: Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie discusses return to school plan. Patricia Good, the school board member that represents District 2, told Runcie that he needs to deal with external pressures to reopen. Lori Alhadeff, a school board member who represents District 4, was concerned about the strategies that are being implemented to avoid crowding in the hallways between classes and during recess.
WATCH LIVE: Runcie proposes reopening Broward schools Oct. 5
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is targeting Oct. 5 for a return to in-person learning. Runcie said in a virtual school board meeting Tuesday morning that he will make that recommendation during the Sept. 22 workshop to determine the district’s plans for reopening classrooms. Schools in Broward and Miami-Dade have been given the green light to welcome back students as those counties join Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan this week. You can watch today’s school board meeting live at the top of this page. Click here to get breaking news updates sent straight to your email inbox.
Broward County Public Schools aims for October reopening
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. Broward County Public Schools are hoping to reopen to in-person learning sometime in October, as long as the downward trend in COVID-19 cases in the county continues, Superintendent Robert Runcie said Tuesday. The school district has been advocating for state and federal funding to assist with that effort. The school district and the Broward Teachers Union have also reached a tentative agreement that will provide all employees in the BTU-EP unit a salary increase, and all employees in the BTU-ESP unit with a referendum supplement. Considerations to reopening schoolsRuncie said there are four key variables they are monitoring which impacts when schools can reopen for onsite instruction:1. In Broward County, Runcie says there has been a sustained downward trend of cases over the last 14 days, which is promising, but community behavior remains a variable.
In-classroom learning in Miami-Dade could start sooner than expected, superintendent says
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Albert Carvalho said that students could be heading back into classrooms earlier than anticipated if the COVID-19 positivity numbers continue to decline in the county. The superintendent previously said that the board would re-evaluate local conditions by late September with a possible return-to-school announcement Oct. 5. When students return, however, he said they will do so in "waves." In Broward County, superintendent Robert Runcie said that district will revisit in-class learning after Labor Day. There was an enrollment decrease in Broward County Schools by about 7,600 students this school year.
Runcie: Enormously difficult to run schools during coronavirus pandemic
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 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. A look at the dataPOSITIVITY RATEBrowards recent day-to-day positivity rate has been below 10% since Aug. 12.
Coronavirus pandemic: Superintendents consider reopening schools sooner in Broward, Miami-Dade
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Public school superintendents in Miami-Dade and Broward counties said on Tuesday that they are both considering reopening school buildings sooner than previously thought. The timing of the decisions, they said, will reflect a reduction trend in coronavirus testing positivity rates in each district. According to data from the Florida Department of Health, both South Florida counties have reported fewer people are getting negative results after getting tested. Miami-Dade is on its 7th day of reporting a testing positivity rate below 10%. We are very confident we are going to be able to move that deadline up sometime to the middle of September at the latest, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told the Miami-Herald during a forum.
Virtual learning returns for public school students in Broward County
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. Virtual learning returns Wednesday for students and teachers in Broward County, and Superintendent Robert Runcie says his teachers are ready. Prior to the first day of school, Runcie took part in a mid-day webinar where he and superintendents from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties addressed the business community. We have to adapt, said Tomasa Etienne, a biology and chemistry teacher at North Miami Senior High School. Etienne, who has worked at the school for 16 years, told Local 10 News about some of the challenges virtual learning presents. Its not going to be perfect, but were going to work to make sure we get this right.
With 1st day of virtual class approaching, community supports school-supply giveaway events
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. Parents and administrators are preparing students for the beginning of virtual classes in South Florida. In Broward County, Superintendent Robert Runcie personally greeted parents on Tuesday as he volunteered in a school-supplies giveaway. Our students, although they will be learning virtually, they still need supplies, Runcie said during the drive-by event. The Strong Survivor, a non-profit organization that aims to help children in foster care, held a drive-by supply giveaway in Homestead. The Strong Survivor volunteers distributed gifts to children in need who are preparing to start school in Miami-Dade County.
South Florida public schools continue to work on plans to reopen when its safe
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools released two presentations about reopening schools when the districts consider it safe to do so. Both Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie agreed it was too soon to reopen schools, so students are returning this fall to virtual classrooms. The new software used for distance learning will allow teachers to see their entire class simultaneously. DeSantis administration issued an executive order mandating schools to reopen buildings and classrooms, but he has also talked about the flexibility that counties in hot zones have. Runcie and Carvalho have both agreed not to continue distance learning as long as 10% or more of the people who are tested for the coronavirus test positive.
Parents uncertain how to prepare for new school year in South Florida
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. This weekend many school supplies are tax-free in Florida, but Jerline Baltimore doesnt have a list of what to buy. Miami-Dade and Broward counties will start the school year online, but that still leaves many questions for parents like Baltimore. I dont have anyone to be to supervise them during the school hours at home, she says. She fears many other parents like her just cant afford the high costs of child care. Sandra West, president of the Miami-Dade County Council of Parent Teachers Associations, gives a wider context on concerns parents have.
Special needs students education to continue virtually in Broward
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Broward County Public Schools considered making an exception for special needs students to return to the classrooms, but on Tuesday Superintendent Robert Runcie recommended schools remain closed. The Florida Department of Education supports the districts exceptional student education programs for students ages 3 to 21. The programs range from children who are gifted to children who suffered traumatic brain injuries and other health impairments. Broward County served more than 32,000 students with disabilities during the 2019-20 school year. Broward County employees planning week is from Aug. 12-18 and students virtual-back-to-school day is Aug. 19.
Back to school: Broward and Miami-Dade have target dates for return to classrooms
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – We know that in the coming weeks both Broward and Miami-Dade schools are planning on returning to virtual classrooms. Broward County schools will be starting with 100% online classes Aug. 19, and Miami-Dade will be doing the same on Aug. 31 because of the threat of coronavirus spread. The superintendents for both districts say they aren’t ruling out allowing students to return to the classroom this year. On Oct. 1, Broward hopes to be able to start moving toward a hybrid model. “They would have to be quarantined, they’d need to be tested before they could return to school, we’d have everyone else continue to monitor themselves.
Miami-Dade County Schools will start year with distance learning, superintendent says
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. Students in the Miami-Dade County Public School District, the fourth largest school district in the United States, will not be returning to classrooms. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made a formal announced Wednesday. But he says all that depends on COVID-19 rates in Miami-Dade County closer to that time. Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is also planning on not reopening schools in his district during the coronavirus pandemic. He said on Tuesday that he is recommending that distance learning continues as long as infections are increasing.
Runcie: Broward teachers will get to choose where to teach from
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie said teachers will be allowed to choose if they will be connecting online from home or their classrooms. We will offer morning and evening sessions at the elementary level to accommodate working parents, Runcie said during the meeting. Runcie also said students in middle and high schools will have access to academic support in core subjects after school. Ron DeSantis said he remains concerned about the long-term effects that online learning may have on children. Youre absolutely going to have kids drop out of school.This Week In South Florida interview with Runcie