Palm Beach County Schools Reopen Monday With Changes Amid Pandemic

District superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy said nearly 60,000 students are planning a return to campus

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While both Miami-Dade and Broward counties have not officially announced when students will be able to begin their return to schools, one South Florida county reopened campuses to students Monday.

Palm Beach County will allow students to return to brick-and-mortar schools, with district superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy telling NBC affiliate WPTV-TV that nearly 60,000 students are planning a return to campus.

"We're as ready as we can be right now," Fennoy said Monday morning. "Would it be great to have more time? Absolutely. But we were given a charge to be ready by the 21st."

Fennoy added that 80,000 students are expected to continue with virtual learning, which the district started last month.

School campuses have been closed since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools across the state of Florida.

The school district will implement several changes with the reopenings, including mandatory face masks for all children and staff along with spaced-out desks, one-way hallways and improved air filter systems.

Fennoy is urging students and parents to be patient and anticipates some teachers are not going to participate in the in-person learning plan.

"I think it's a lot of anxiety. I think we're going to be shuffling things around to accommodate potential teacher vacancies," Fennoy said. "A lot of people who work in these buildings or in support roles who have teaching certifications are out in school helping cover classes. So I think that's going to be adjusting."

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