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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Jul. 6, 2020 1 month ago

BREAKING: Florida school districts must open schools next month

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Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday issued an emergency order requiring all school boards and charter school governing boards to open brick-and-mortar schools beginning in August.
by: Michael Eng Editor and Publisher

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday issued an emergency order requiring all school boards and charter school governing boards to open brick-and-mortar schools beginning in August.

According to DOE Order No. 2020-EO-06, all brick-and-mortar schools must open for at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health, local departments of health, Executive Order 20-149 and subsequent executive orders.

"Absent these directives, the day-to-day decision to open or close a school must always rest locally with the board or executive most closely associated with a school; the superintendent or school board in the case of a district-run school; the charter governing board in the case of a public charter school; or the private school principal, director or governing board in the case of a non-public school," the order states.

Furthermore, the order states school districts and charter school governing boards must provide the full array of services required by law so that "families who wish to educate their children in a brick-and-mortar school full-time have the opportunity to do so." These services include in-person instruction (barring a health directive to the contrary), specialized instruction, and services for students with IEPs or live synchronous or asynchronous instruction with the same curriculum as in-person instruction and the ability to interact with a student’s teacher and peers as approved by Corcoran.

The order also requires robust progress monitoring, and tiered support must be provided to all students who are not making adequate progress. Students who are receiving instruction through innovative teaching methods must be provided additional support and the opportunity to transition to another teaching method if they fail to make adequate progress.

School districts must submit to the DOE a reopening plan that satisfies the requirements of the order. Districts and charter school governing boards with an approved reopening plan will receive reporting flexibility designed to provide financial continuity for the 2020 fall semester.

School boards and charter school governing boards will receive the General Appropriations Act funding based on pre-COVID-19 FTE student membership forecasts.

Read the emergency order here.

Michael Eng is the editor and publisher for the West Orange Times & Observer, West Orange Observer, Baldwin Park Living magazine and OrangeObserver.com. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism....

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