What Will School Look Like Next Year?
Currently, M-DCPS is taking multiple options into consideration when it comes to what will happen next school year. Ferguson has the largest student body in the entire county, at about 4,300 students. This means that Ferguson may have to take an approach that is unique from smaller high schools.
“COVID-19 will definitely have impacts on the upcoming school year. Unfortunately, no definitive answers have been provided as of yet. We will know more in the summer,” said Mr. Louis, assistant principal. “We encourage parents to complete the school reopening survey put out by the district. This was sent to all parents with a registered email account and is due by Friday, May 22nd.”
The reopening survey has been sent out to all parents in Miami-Dade and has a total of three options. There is the first option which details that students should go to school physically with social distancing regulations like regular cleanings, one-way hallways, and mandatory masks. The second option is distance learning where the students will do their academic work virtually. Finally, the third option is a mix of the two options above. For example, a potential scenario talked about is going to school for one week and then doing virtual-learning for the next week. Another potential option talked about is using space in certain schools that have extra capacity to relieve other overcrowded schools. Other questions asked are if parents are comfortable with having their children’s temperature taken or instead of eating in cafeterias with large groups of people, students can eat in classrooms.
Due to the fact that there are several different options, currently, South Florida school counties are flexible for the time being. The M-DCPS superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, has stated that “We are contemplating all of the options, but we are absolutely determined to start the 2020-21 school year in August after careful consideration and review of the health findings at that time.”
Therefore, the one thing that is for certain is that the school year will start in August with students who need extra help with certain classes going earlier to school this year. Carvalho’s team is looking into different aspects of school-life like activities done at school, gyms, and school lunches and seeing what potential modifications can be made. Carvalho has also announced that he will hire a chief health inspector or officer to join his team to ensure that they approach all possible solutions in a way that abides by health protocols.
Currently, many options are being talked about and the results of the reopening survey will be a great determining factor when the decision is made about what procedures will follow for the new school year. As of right now, schools are not strictly requiring students to return their books or mobile devices unless they are seniors. With this new pandemic, it’s important to stay routinely informed about what decision the M-DCPS board takes for the 2020-21 school year.
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