The impact of the coronavirus on schools took center stage on Thursday when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with education leaders in Tallahassee.
DeSantis was joined by Florida's Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and Virtual School Executive Director Dr. Louis Algaze, among others.
State education officials gave an update on the status of online learning, which began across many school districts last week.
Algaze said both public and private school teachers have access to online tools to learn the best practices for teaching classes via the internet.
“So far we have 33 school districts and over 100 charter and private schools that have taken advantage of this. We have about 3,400 teachers in the process of being trained,” said Algaze.
Gov. DeSantis thanked teachers and parents across the state for making the quick transition to online learning after schools were suddenly closed.
"Florida virtual school has also made 100 courses available for free for all schools and is allowing school districts to connect for free to the FLVS learning management system," said DeSantis.
The governor announced last month that all K-12 public and private schools in Florida are closed through May 1 to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
"The department has also purchased 32,000 laptops for 34 mostly small, rural school districts and is currently distributing those laptops now," said DeSanitis.
DeSantis also said during the news conference that the state’s office of emergency management is sending out “one of the biggest shipments of supplies in the department’s history” to first responders and front line health care workers.
This included, “two million surgical masks, 300,000 face shields, more than 50,000 containers of hand sanitizer, 500,000 shoe covers, more than 100,000 gowns and 350,000 gloves,” said DeSantis.