Officials Consider Delaying Start of School in Palm Beach County

first_imgPalm Beach County School District officials are discussing a possible delay to the start of the school year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.Florida is seeing a spike in new COVID-19 infections, including 5,511 new cases that were reported on Wednesday.The district recently created a task force and also distributed a survey to parents, in an effort to determine options for reopening safely in the fall.In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a series of recommendations for schools, in order to reduce the spread of the virus. The agency noted the risk of the virus spreading increases in these situations:-Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.-More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures, or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).-Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.The district is also considering three education options for when students return: full-time classroom instruction, full-time distance learning, or a hybrid model that would involve students being in the classroom two days a week and then at home for distance learning the other three days a week.Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald Fennoy says more than 66,000 parents and guardians responded to the district survey asking them which of the three learning models they prefer.“Right now, a district data team is analyzing all those results,” Dr. Fennoy told board members. “Generally, the respondents were fairly evenly split in their back to school preferences when asked about returning to school full-time, continuing distance learning full-time, or some form of a blended model.”Officials are expected to make a final decision on the format of the 2020/21 school year on July 15.Wednesday’s discussion is a virtual meeting.last_img

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