Brevard school board approves proposed plan

Board members expected sign off on plan Tuesday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County School Board made some changes to the school district’s proposed fall reopening plan but signed off on the plan Tuesday, according to a report from news partner Florida Today.

A vote will be held in the future by the school board on changing the start date of school to Aug. 17.

Watch the school board meeting below

In a marathon 11-hour school board workshop Thursday, Brevard Public Schools officials laid out their vision for reopening Brevard's 83 public schools amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in the proposal was a limited face mask policy that "strongly recommended" masks to students and staff but required them only in certain circumstances, including career and technical education labs and "other vulnerable activities or areas."

The plan also featured an extensive list of proposed safety protocols, including modified routes to reduce the number of children on school buses; regular hand-washing breaks for elementary students; modified classroom and cafeteria seating and hallway traffic patterns; and quarantine and cleaning guidelines in the event of a positive case, among others.

Officials also unveiled instructional options designed to reduce the amount of face-to-face exposure among students and between students and teachers.

Under the “eLearning” option, elementary students could take live virtual classes at home with a teacher from their designated school. The structure would closely model the regular school day, with scheduled periods for instruction and breaks, and would give parents the option of moving their kids between the virtual and regular classrooms.

Where feasible, middle and high school students would move to a block schedule that features four 90-minute classes each day, rather than the typical seven, with a different set of courses in the fall and spring. The proposal would mean teachers seeing fewer students each day and students having fewer classmates, reducing their possible exposure to the virus.

Students may participate in temperature checks by school staff.

FLORIDA TODAY polled school board members about their thoughts on the proposed plan before the final version was presented at the July 14 board meeting.

Overall, board members were positive on the key points of the proposal. Although each had some questions and concerns they would like to see addressed, all but District 4 representative Matt Susin said they were unequivocally prepared to approve the plan at Tuesday’s meeting.