By: Jill Fox
Superintendent Robert Runcie said on Friday that Broward schools would shut down beginning Monday in response to growing concern over the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by Coronavirus.
Immediately following an announcement by Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the Broward school district will enter into an early, extended spring break, originally scheduled to begin on March 23.
“Every action has a reaction,” said Runcie, “We know that if children are home, rather than in school, there’s a consequence for their parents who may work during the day, they need childcare services.”
Some childcare support is being arranged, as well as the needs and children of first-responders and healthcare personnel. Runcie also said school officials should be lenient on staff with possible childcare issues.
For the 60 percent of Broward students eligible for free and reduced meals, Runcie said eight locations would be open to serve breakfast and lunch to those students and their families.
For now, there will not be any additional virtual learning; however, if schools remain closed, there are several measures in place for continuity, including digital resources, Canvass, and Broward Virtual University. They are in collaboration with other districts as well as the commissioner of education.
Broward is the second largest district in Florida, including the city of Tamarac.
Update: Since we published this, the school district stated:
After further consideration, we have determined that all District employees, except for identified essential personnel, will not be required to report to work March 16-20. Beginning the week of March 23, all employees who are on the calendar, and thus previously scheduled to work, will return back to work.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.