TAMPA, Fla. — What will it take to re-open schools in the state of Florida? A group of educators gave recommendations to the Florida Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday morning.
The Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) came up with proposals for the state Department of Education.
“We as superintendents are looking to plan and to make decisions that keep the safety, health and well-being of our student families and staff in the forefront as we do everything we can, as mentioned, to prevent, to mitigate, and to address any potential academic impact of COVID-19,” said Michael Grego, the Pinellas County Schools Superintendent presenting on behalf of FADSS.
The proposal calls for the creation of state and local “Pandemic Education Response Teams.” The teams would help guide school districts and the state through the re-opening process.
FADSS also suggests guidance from the state on social distancing in areas like classrooms, recess, lunch and even the number of students allowed on the bus. In the proposal, it asks for the state to give guidance on PPE use, cleaning protocols and daily screenings.
“I believe that there needs to be some state level conditions," said Grego. "What those conditions look like on an individual district basis, as mentioned, from Broward to Gilchrist County or Pinellas to Pasco County might be somewhat different, but they’re guidelines.”
The group outlined another proposal for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Funds under the CARES Act. Their plan includes expanding summer programming to focus on learning gaps before the start of the new school year.
“August through December, as school districts, we’re going to have to ramp up extended day, perhaps start Saturday, to really do whatever it takes to close that loss or that slide that perhaps has taken place over the last month or has the potential over the next several months,” said Grego.