Glades schools’ town hall looks ahead to ’20-21

WEST PALM BEACH — The School District of Palm Beach County hosted a series of online “Town Hall” meet-ups last week, and the final one, for Glades Region schools, was on Friday night, June 26. It went on as scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m., broadcast through several TV and online channels.

Hosted by local office (in Belle Glade) of the School District of Palm Beach County, the forum for the Glades Region schools in Belle Glade, Canal Point, Pahokee and South Bay was conducted by Glades Regional Superintendent Angela Moore.

She introduced her instructional team and thanked all of them by name, as well as the school principals, staff and teachers who were attending virtually, then asked the local Palm Beach County School Board representative to speak.

District 6 board member Marcia Andrews helped her open by addressing those listening: “This evening is strictly for you. It’s to have your questions answered. We have been in a challenging time, so this evening your questions will be addressed. As we begin to open schools and think about what we’re going to do, we can’t do any of those things without your input. It’s a fluid situation every day, a challenge for us, but we can do this together.” She thanked all involved for their hard work and urged them to remain focused on what it will take to try to fulfill Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desire to get Florida’s public schools reopened this fall.

Moore said she and other officials would read and answer questions submitted beforehand by parents, staff and students, so as to get feedback from all groups.

She said they would review potential options for reopening schools, noting that “our preparation is quickly evolving” because of updated information and potential new precautions issued by the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She said they’d received more than 400 questions relating to almost all aspects of the school district’s operations from all over the county.

Moore said that individual students with Individual Education Plans “are being offered the opportunity to continue their education this summer,” adding that 6,500 students are involved in virtual learning four days a week.

Credit in course recovery is being offered to middle and high school, English language learners and migrant students, plus a targeted intervention program “for select teachers … to work virtually with students that are below grade level in small groups, targeting specific deficiencies in literacy and in math.”

She said over $1 million was offered to district schools to provide the opportunity for students to catch up with missed instruction.

Self-paced virtual activity is available for all students, outlined as part of the Summer Learning Essentials website, which was launched earlier this month., Moore stated. They include virtual field trips.

She noted that the district “also recently approved summer leases for a small number of community-based organizations, such as The Boys and Girls Club; and currently in the Glades region, we have Rosenwald, that’s soon to be opened this summer for our Boys and Girls students; we have the old Gove site that’s currently open; we have Canal Point that’s open; and we also have Belle Glade Elementary at the site that’s open.”

Discussions in preparation for the new 2020-2021 school year will be ongoing up until mid-July. The PBCSD is expected to announce specific plans for that on or about July 15.

Anyone can view the town hall meeting by going online to: https://bit.ly/PBtownhall10.

PBCSD students, parents or staff who have other specific questions may submit them to GladesRegionOffice@palmbeachschools.org or call 561-996-4900.

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