DORAL, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a plan for Florida schools reopening in August at a Thursday press conference in Melbourne.
During his intervention, DeSantis stated classes for K-12 students would return at full capacity, although safety remains a priority.
“Working with the Department of Education, working with the superintendents, we’ve been able to provide a road map to announce the return of our schools to on-campus instruction,” DeSantis said.
In order to reduce health risks, the plan includes options to disinfect and clean common areas and surfaces, as well as rules and restrictions to keep social distancing, even in scenarios where social distancing is nearly impossible such as in school buses.
But beyond COVID-19 prevention, the plan is also aimed at improving the education system in several fronts, one of which is closing achievement gaps among students that might have suffered learning losses during virtual school.
To put such plan in motion, according to the Department of Education, the plan outlines nearly $475 million in education-related aid from the CARES Act, which DeSantis said will be used to “make significant investments in our education system,” as reported by Channel 7 News Miami.
According to the document released by the Education Department, the plan “provides health and instructional recommendations for reopening Florida’s schools, aligned to the executive direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among other institutions.”
“We have a great opportunity to get back on good footing,” DeSantis said at the news conference. “I know our kids have been in difficult circumstances. … Getting back to the school year is going to be really really important to the well being of our kids.”
“We’re going to be smart, we’re going to be safe, we’re going to do it step by step,” education commissioner Richard Corcoran said. “We want schools fully opened in the fall because there is no better way to educate our children than to have that teacher in front of that child.”
The plan for Florida schools reopening works as a recommendation from the state for school districts to consider. Districts are independent agencies run by constitutional officers.
You can read the full plan in the following link.