By July 15, Miami-Dade parents must select an instructional model for their children

DORAL, FL – Now that the school board unanimously passed the district’s reopening plan, Miami-Dade parents must select an instructional model for their children and the deadline is on July 15. 

Declare your intention for your child’s participation in 20-21 school year, once the County is in phase 2, by submitting your preference through the parent portal, the mobile app, the district website, school site (a hard copy is available at any school location, but must be returned to home school location) or simply by calling your child’s school.

When you choose one of the previous tools for submitting your intention, please select one of four instructional models: staying home for full-time distance learning (My School Online), back to school full-time (Schoolhouse model) and two hybrid models. This option won’t be available for Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program and Head Start/Early Head Start Programs.

According to Channel 6 South Florida, one of the hybrid models would have kids alternating school and home every day, while the other one, plans to have students going two days to school and two days at home to accommodate block schedules.

“Our plan includes the ability to quickly pivot to an online or distance learning model should conditions worsen significantly,” said Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

And he added, “the well-being of students and employees remains our top priority. MDCPS will ONLY proceed with in-person schooling option outlined in tentative MDCPS Reopening plan if Miami-Dade County successfully transitions to Phase 2. Currently, the County is still in Phase 1,” he said through his social media channels. 

Families that fail to respond with their preferred instructional model, would be reached later by the school district, as reported by Telemundo. 

“In some cases, we will visit the families’ homes to obtain the necessary information, we are gathering the necessary data to make a good plan for next school year,” Alberto Carvalho said to Telemundo.

Based on the number of students that choose distance learning, the district will make the decision on how many children could attend classes in person or what would be the hybrid plan should the County enter Phase 2. On July 27, parents will  be informed of their child’s instructional plan.

But for those families choosing between a hybrid model or full immersion back to school, things are going to look a lot different than last year. 

Kids would attend clases five days a week with face masks and social distancing enforced for students and teachers whenever it’s humanly possible. 

“Part of the plan relies on increased social distancing, but we cannot guarantee six feet of distance. In fact the department of education, in their guidance to all districts in Florida, recognizes and asserts that six feet of social distancing in a classroom between desks is probably impossible to be accomplished, that is why the wearing of masks will be a requirement,” Carvalho said.

“We’re gonna do our very best in terms of social distancing in the classrooms, our very best in terms of utilizing non-traditional educational space like media centers, like gymnasiums for the purpose of amplifying educational space, but the likelihood that all schools will be able to accomplish six feet of separation between desks is very, very small.”

The district’s reopening plan includes new coronavirus safety protocols and modifications, such as plexiglass dividers to protect teachers, changes in school transportation with fewer children on buses and the possibility of plastic barriers to social distancing.

“We would increase routes, possibly the number of buses on the street, but also alter schedules,” says Carvalho.

In addition, contact tracing will be done at schools if anyone on campus tests positive for COVID-19.

But regardless of all the precaution measure the district takes, Alberto Carvalho stated the district is “fully cognizant of the childcare issues many families face”, and also of the limitations distance learning has. For this reason, the plan will make teachers more accountable for interacting with students through online platforms.

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