DORAL, FL – Miami-Dade students return to in-person learning on October 14. The highly anticipated date was defined Tuesday afternoon after the School Board voted unanimously following an almost two days long meeting.
During the meeting, that started on Monday, the board listened to 18 and a half hours of recorded public comment on the matter.
The new decision means schools will reopen two weeks later than the starting date of September 30th proposed by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Monday.
Under his proposal, that day early childhood and students with special needs on a modified curriculum, as well as PK, K, 1st grade and ESE modified curriculum students for all grades would return. Remaining students would return on October 5th and October 7th.
But now students will return to their classrooms no earlier than October 14 and for the phased reopening to be complete by October 21, as reported by WLRN.
Still many people are against the decision as this has been a hot topic in the recents weeks when school authorities started announcing their preliminary plans.
Miami-Dade and Broward teachers unions even accused both districts of pushing the reopening of schools based on politics and economic factors and said the protocol planned wasn’t safe enough.
The heated atmosphere surrounding the reopening of schools was evident on Monday’s meeting when many of the speakers expressed concerns regarding safety against the coronavirus.
According to CBS4, some who left comments said the school district was not properly prepared. They even claimed it would be “irresponsible” to send employees back without a plan, while also stating the return “should not be rushed.”
Among the biggest concerns parents and teachers have, one of the main ones is the ventilation systems in some schools that in their words are too old and don’t work well.
There were also discussions regarding the proper social distance students should keep in the midst of the pandemic. School Board member Maria Teresa Rojas said she didn’t think a three-foot distance was enough to stop the spread of droplets, but six was a better idea, reported CBS4.
In the face of the new reality, it is expected that students wear masks, while schools will be inspected daily.