By Ryan Yousefi
As Broward County and the rest of the country see facets of their past everyday lives fall back into place one by one, parents have one essential piece of the puzzle they’re anxiously awaiting to see fall in place; What is the plan for reopening schools in the county?
As of this weekend, that question remains unanswered, but clearer pathways back to normalcy are being considered, even as they include some adapting and getting used to.
Robert W. Runcie, superintendent for Broward County Public Schools, provided a much-anticipated update on that very subject, running through some details of the plan he says they are preparing to put in place in anticipation of classes resuming this Fall.
In the video update, Runcie says his team is working under the assumption that the continued impact of COVID-19 will influence the 2021 school year.
They’re currently working on a plan to provide a “clear, predictable, and positive experience for teachers, families, and students,” even as they expect disruptions and unknowns to impact whatever outline for a resumption of in-person education they put in place.
According to Runcie, the “new normal” will be nothing like what anyone has grown used to over the years.
As a priority, social distancing measures will be kept in place for some or all of the upcoming school year, and faculty will emphasize helping students recover what they’ve lost academically at the end of this year.
Families can expect particular attention dedicated to students’ emotional and social wellness, an area of concern considering the circumstances that have disrupted their learning.
Runcie also indicated that his hopes are students and faculty come out the other side of this disruption better for the wear, having learned much about the importance of a good education.
Survey data collected by the county will go towards plans put in place to conquer expected challenges when classes resume.
While it is expected in-classroom sessions will continue, some e-learning options remain on the table, and the survey’s included quite a bit of information that will help the decision-makers decide what the county is capable of long-term.
On June 16, there will be a school board workshop where faculty and staff consider a “blended” approach to classes, where both online learning and traditional classroom sessions are combined. Both teacher and student resources are at the heart of this discussion. Inventory and feasibility will be the main point of order when more concrete decisions about Fall classes are made at the workshop.
For now, it appears parents will have to wait for any set in stone information about Fall classes they can count on. Runcie made it clear his team is working on it, and we’ll continue to monitor any further decisions made in the in-future on the matter.
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- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.