Published On: Wed, Jul 8th, 2020

State Orders Schools to Reopen in the Fall Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases

On Monday Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran ordered public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to both students and their families. 

As of July 7, Florida has a total of 223,783 confirmed COVID-19 cases that continue to increase daily. With that being said, Local health officials can override the commissioner’s directive if it is not safe to open schools because of COVID-19, but Monday’s announcement makes it clear that districts have to prepare to open their doors to all students in August.

“There is a need to open schools fully to ensure the quality and continuity of the educational process, the comprehensive well-being of students and families and a return to Florida hitting its full economic stride,” the order states.

Photo by: USA Today

In a live meeting today, The Palm Beach County school board is discussing several reopening plans for the upcoming school year. These options include: full-time in-person instruction on campus, full-time distance learning, or a hybrid combination of the two.

 However, according to the order, school districts cannot shift to a hybrid model, where students spend half their time in school and half at home. Every student must have the option of being in school five days per week.

Schools may submit their own plans on remote education, but “ in order to receive the flexibility and continuity provided for in this Order, school districts must submit to the Department a reopening plan that satisfies the requirements of this Order,” states the  State Of Florida Department of Education order. 

Students in Palm Beach County are currently scheduled to start their new school year on Monday, Aug. 10.

A final decision regarding Palm Beach County’s 2020-21 reopening plan is set to be made on July 15 by the school board. 

To view Palm Beach County’s “Reopening Task Force”, click here.

About the Author

- I am currently a junior at Florida Atlantic University majoring in multimedia studies with a journalism concentraion. I am a Newsroom Writer for the Boca Raton Tribune with a passion for investigative journalism work and sharing stories within my community.

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