State says brick and mortar schools must reopen next month

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has announced that all schools in the state must reopen for at least five days per week starting next month.

An emergency order issued by Education Secretary Richard Corcoran stated that school districts and charter school governing boards must provide the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so.

“Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students,” read the order which can be seen here.

School districts will be required to have a monitoring system in place to make sure students are not falling behind and are making adequate progress. That data must be shared regularly with FDOE.

All school districts, charter school governing boards, and private schools that accept state scholarship money must submit a reopening plan to the state that satisfies the state’s requirements. The districts also must make efforts to close any achievement gaps caused by closing the schools earlier this year.

Online learning must also be provided to students with instruction at the same levels as existing at in-person schooling.

“Although it is anticipated that most students will return to full-time brick and mortar schools,” read a Powerpoint distributed with the order, “some parents will continue their child’s education through innovative learning environments, often due to the medical vulnerability of the child or another family member who resides in the same household. As described in this order, school boards and charter school governing boards with an approved reopening plan are authorized to report approved innovative learning students for full FTE credit.”

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