By Jill Fox
At the Broward School Board workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Robert Runcie addressed the reopening of schools, and his recommendation for instruction to be 100 percent virtual for the 2020-2021 school year.
Runcie said the health and safety of students, teachers, and staff was his number one priority.
With the new school year approaching with over 30,000 employees and almost 270,000 students, he pointed out that the state of the pandemic in the community was a significant consideration — mainly the growing rate of infection and spread.
“Unfortunately, South Florida is the new epicenter for coronavirus spread in the country,” he said.
“The fact is, we would all like to get back to normal, but for now, normal has to be in the context of COVID-19,” said Runcie, when he recommended for instruction to be 100 percent virtual when school begins on August 19.
As a full-time attorney, Alison Wasserman, mom to a first and fourth-grader at Heron Heights Elementary School, is concerned about how she would manage e-learning while working from home.
“While the health and safety of my family, and that of the teachers and other students is paramount, the idea of continued virtual school adds to my anxiety,” she said.
Amrit Mann, mom to a second and fourth-grade student said she hopes the teachers receive the support they need to make e-learning work for the new school year.
Runcie stressed he would not risk exposing students, teachers, and staff until the coronavirus is under control, and when conditions improve, additional options will be introduced.
Superintendent Runcie concluded by pleading with the community to help contain the spread of the virus by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
“We will never be able to open our buildings until we have decreased and leveled the number of COVID-19 cases.”
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- 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.