BREVARD COUNTY Fla. – Brevard County Public Schools has approved its reopening plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Parents should expect a number of changes for the 2020-2021 academic school year.
School leaders still have to finalize a few details after the Florida Department of Education issued an executive order telling schools to physically reopen come August. The Brevard County School Board ultimately decided Brevard Superintendent Mark Mullins will have the authority to modify the approved plan throughout the year subject to the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know about the district’s back to school plan:
Start date: August 24
The Brevard County School Board voted to push the start date back for the upcoming fall semester due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The new start will be August 24, about two weeks after the original start date of August 11.
The district has provided various options for parents to pick from:
1. Full-Time In School: Traditional in-school learning with enhanced health and safety protocols for students. Students will follow a regular school day schedule.
2. eLearning: At-home online courses resembling a school schedule. Children will collaborate with their peers and teacher on a virtual platform. Students would expect to commit to this learning option for a nine-week period following the same pacing as if in the classroom.
*This option is also available for elementary school students.
3. Brevard County Virtual School: At-home learning with a flexible schedule. Brevard County’s virtual program is blended, meaning a majority of the curriculum is enhanced with face-to-face activities on its campus in Cocoa. Students will essentially be doing the Florida Virtual School curriculum with a Brevard County teacher as they offer live-online lessons and activities.
*Note: Parents should be prepared to commit to this option for at least a semester.
4. Part-time: Families can choose to have their students have a hybrid curriculum between the county’s new eLearning program and in-person instruction. Both would follow a typical school day.
*5. Full or Part-Time Dual Enrollment: Qualified high school students can also add dual-enrollment to their option of preference whether that be combining it with Brevard County Virtual School, e-Learning or in-person instruction at a Brevard County school.
Learning Option Deadline: To Be Determined
The district did not make it immediately clear by when parents would be expected to register their students for the upcoming school year.
Enhanced coronavirus-related health and safety measures
If parents opt for any in-person learning options, students will have to follow increased health and safety protocols to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Below are few topics of which parents should be aware:
As of Aug. 7, Brevard County Public Schools officials had updated the district’s reopening plans to say that all students and staff members are required to wear face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible. Students will also be required to wear face coverings on school buses, according to the district.
According to the district’s reopening guide, the face covering requirement can be met with a face shield, a disposable mask, cloth mask or a neck wrap that is designed to function as a face covering.
Students in Pre-K through second grade won’t be required to wear masks but the school district strongly encourages that they do.
• Hallway traffic patterns will be modified to minimize face-to-face interaction.
• Desks will be arranged in the same direction so students are not facing each other.
• School schedules will be designed to minimize congregation in communal areas including gyms, cafeterias and courtyards.
• Extra furniture and clutter will be eliminated to allow for more social distancing.
• Limit the amount of use at water fountains that are not fill stations; students and staff will be strongly encouraged to bring water from home or use individual disposable water bottles.
• All classrooms will have hand sanitizer, cleaning and disinfection supplies for staff, paper towels and tissue.
• Reinforce handwashing with soap for 20 seconds and/or hand sanitizer use.
• Schedule cleaning of high touch/high traffic areas during the school day (e.g., tables, desks, chairs, door handles, light switches, railings, faucet/toilet handles, etc.)
The district has outlined its protocols further in its reopening plan. Use this link to access the district’s website for more resources.