Broward, Miami-Dade Public Schools Eyeing 100% In-Person Learning By Fall

CBS4's Keith Jones has the details. Read more: https://cbsloc.al/3dcfzBs

Video Transcript

- Another big step on the road to reopening today. Broward and Miami-Dade public schools both out with big announcements. First up today, Broward. Superintendent Robert Runcie announcing that all students will return to the classroom in the fall.

- Not long after that, Miami-Dade schools essentially said the same thing. CBS4's Keith Jones is live in Fort Lauderdale to explain. Keith.

KEITH JONES: Yeah, both districts acknowledge that the progression in COVID protocols and also the sheer number of vaccinations that are out there gave them confidence to go ahead and get all the kids back in class come this fall. The Broward Teachers Union, which has been really outspoken about their teacher safety and student safety, say they agree it's time to go back to class.

ANNA FUSCO: The district's got a group. BTU's got a group. And they're level headed, open minded, and solution oriented to make sure that we work towards keeping everybody safe, healthy, you know, so we're not combating anymore.

KEITH JONES: The Broward Teachers Union has butted heads with the district over the past year about in-class learning, but at this point, teachers union president Anna Fusco says teachers are on board with the Broward district. Fusco also says she knew this announcement was coming at the board meeting today.

ROBERT RUNCIE: Broward County public schools will open the 2021-22 school year with 100% in-person, traditional face-to-face instruction at all schools this fall.

KEITH JONES: What that means for all Broward students is the option they were given this school year to stay home or return to the classroom will not be an option this fall.

ROBERT RUNCIE: There will be no blended, hybrid remote learning. For students and families who desire a virtual option, our Broward virtual school has been available for that purpose for the past 20 years.

KEITH JONES: In the Miami-Dade School District, superintendent Alberto Carvalho also addressed next school year. It sounds as if the intent is to have all students back in the classrooms face to face.

ALBERTO CARVALHO: It is our plan as a school system to welcome back 100% of all of our students across all grade levels-- that's pre-K through 12-- for the '21-'22 school year.

KEITH JONES: Meanwhile, Runcie offered an explanation as to why he made the decision right now.

ROBERT RUNCIE: Based on our experiences this past year which have highlighted the academic, social, and emotional challenges that many of our students have had with the remote learning-- and we know some certainly have been successful, but there have been many that it's certainly been a big challenge.

KEITH JONES: Let's talk about that challenge. Broward County students receiving a failing grade more than doubled prepandemic numbers. Pretty impressive there, perhaps lending itself to evidence of the importance of learning in class.

Live at the Broward County School Board, Keith Jones, CBS4 News.

- Keith, thank you.