By: Jen Russon
Superintendent Robert Runcie, addressed the Broward school community at the start of the fourth quarter, with encouraging statistics on how the first week of remote distance learning went for students and staff.
He said that despite technical difficulties on March 30, 96 percent of students logged into Canvas, and 98 percent of teachers posted classwork on the online learning system.
The superintendent broadcast the stats from his home, adding that 85,000 meals had been served at the 47 feeding sites in the Broward County school system, with four more campuses being added in the coming weeks — which include Margate Middle School, close to Coral Springs.
Perhaps the biggest news from the superintendent was students and their families should prepare for and expect closures of campuses to extend through the school year — maybe even longer.
“I know this has been a big adjustment, as parents add this to their already full plates,” said Runcie, adding that anxiety is something he thinks we’re all experiencing.
He said his child is an ER physician, in one of the hardest-hit cities of the coronavirus pandemic, and that his school board continues to develop an online mindfulness program with mental health in mind.
Superintendent Runcie said that only essential staff would report to schools in the coming weeks and that CDC guidelines would be followed in these cases to the letter.
While administrative staff had been coming to campus to work as recently as last week, all campuses are closed to non-essential staff as of April 6.
Teachers may still be reached if parents have questions between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling their child’s school.
Recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic will only continue to grow for the next several weeks, Runcie was clear: the old timeline of re-opening schools after May 1 needed an adjustment.
“Consequently, it is reasonable for all of us to plan for continuing distance learning through the end of the school year,” he said.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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