All Florida districts must reopen school campuses next month, Dept. of Education says

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — All brick and mortar schools in Florida must reopen in August and provide “the full panoply of services,” the state’s Department of Education announced Monday.

An emergency order signed by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said that “upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students,” with advice from state and local health departments.

Corcoran and Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously unveiled the state’s plans and recommendations to reopen schools.

According to the order signed by Corcoran on Monday, school districts must have a monitoring system in place to make sure students are not falling behind in their studies and are making adequate progress, and that data must be shared regularly with Florida DOE.

The schools must also provide all services required by law “so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so.” Those services include in-person instruction, and specialized instruction and services for students with IEPs (individualized education program), along with English-language learners.

The news comes following the announcement that Hillsborough County schools have extended the deadline for parent responses to reopening plans.

The Department of Education states that the order is temporary and only for the fall semester.

Full emergency order:

The Department of Education has also put together a presentation that breaks down the information in the emergency order.

8 On Your Side is working to find out exactly how the order impacts school reopening plans in the Tampa Bay area.

Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram released a statement following Monday’s announcement.

It’s clear in communications with our members that educators are scared. They don’t trust politicians to make sure things are safe — rightly so, with the record-breaking number of cases being reported. The governor is trying to brush that off. Safety for students and school employees needs to be at the center of our conversations about reopening schools.”

Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram

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