WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County schools, as of this morning, will not be opening in August, instead students will learn on line, this as President Trump continues to push for students to return to class come fall.
Palm Beach county school officials will meet again next week to make a formal decision on in person learning sending parents scrambling to make arrangements for the possibility of their children being at home during the day in the fall.
Wednesday night, school board members agreed to go to online-only learning next month as coronavirus cases and deaths in the county surge.
During the workshop, the seven board members did not vote on the issue but expect to officially make a decision next Wednesday to keep campuses closed indefinitely.
“I’m thrilled to hear everybody saying distant learning,” board member Debra Robinson, a medical doctor, said during the virtual meeting that lasted five hours. “I know you are all going to wait until next week, but folks just need to know to make plans.”
Superintendent Donald Fennoy said a panel of health experts had recommended that campuses not reopen until the rate of new COVID-19 cases improves. Classes are scheduled to resume on August 10.
“I’m not even going to scare you about when we can go to regular school. We’ll take one month at a time,” Robinson said. “I hope we can make it to hybrid but we have to have all those protocols outlined.”
Fennoy said the School District of Palm Beach County has some flexibility with this, as the district takes recommendations and advice from health leaders.
Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he wants schools opened nationwide and threatened to cut federal money if they don’t reopen.
All this despite our earlier reporting that public schools in Florida will be required to reopen in August according to an executive order issued Monday by Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.
Under the order, “all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health” and local health departments.
School districts must also provide “the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so.”
Under the order, school districts must submit their reopening plans to the Florida Department of Education.