One year after shutting down campus amid the coronavirus pandemic, Broward County is planning to welcome students back full time starting next school year.
First reported by NBC 6 News on Tuesday, Superintendent Robert Runcie told the school board during a meeting late Wednesday night the plan was to re-open campuses for all students for in-person learning in the fall.
“My expectation and our planning…is to open up full time,” Runcie said. “The remaining question is are we going to provide any flexibility, but we’re going to plan to open up for the next school year.”
Runcie said the virtual learning that many students have been doing in the county could be an option if parents opt for it, but that would be handled on a case by case basis depending on state funding.
Get South Florida local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC South Florida newsletters.
“What we can control and know is that we can plan on opening schools 100 percent,” Runcie added.
Tuesday, Runcie told NBC 6 education reporter Ari Odzer that health and safety protocols adopted by the school districts worked in preventing schools from becoming COVID-spreader environments.
“Given that reality, I would’ve opened schools earlier for face-to-face instruction but that’s Monday morning quarterbacking in hindsight,” Runcie said. “Because we know how important face-to-face instruction is for so many of our students, we know many students are not making adequate academic progress.”
Runcie has not given details on requirements for re-opening, including facial coverings and social distancing protocols.
“I’m most proud of our teachers and how they’ve been able to so quickly pivot and respond to this challenge that we’ve had,” Runcie said.