Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Says Safety a Priority for Upcoming Year

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Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said safety will be a priority for students and staff for the upcoming school year.

Carvalho delivered his opening of schools address at Miami Senior High School Friday morning, where he discussed school safety for the 2021-2022 school year.

Carvalho said it "can feel overwhelming" having to go back to classes amid a resurgence in COVID-19, after dealing with it for the previous school year.

"I recognize that these are times of uncertainty. It seems that right when we think that this will all be over soon, that science will have finally prevailed and will have finally seen us through this, we are seemingly right back where we started," Carvalho said. "I have no doubt that we will get through this. I know we will. We will ensure our schools remain safe, secure and open, that our students and employees and families are safe based on the remarkable and resilient leadership I have seen from all school administrators and teachers."

The upcoming school year begins Aug. 23, and the district is expected to make a decision next week on whether masks will be mandated for students and staff.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has sought to block districts from mandating masks for children, arguing that parents should be the ones to decide. His office said they could move to withhold funding for districts that don't comply.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines recommending masks be worn indoors at schools nationwide.

Carvalho reiterated Friday that he won't make a decision on masks based on any threats to his paycheck.

"There is no threat to me, to my paycheck, to my salary that will force me to not do the right thing," Carvalho said.

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