CORAL SPRINGS, FL – If the coronavirus infection rate continues to decline, Broward County Public Schools could reopen as early as October, Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Tuesday.

In a news conference, Runcie didn’t commit to a specific reopening date or specific options on the kind of reopening to be considered initially.

To reopen the campuses for in-person learning, many guidelines would need to be met, including a major one: Broward County would need to move from the more-restrictive Phase 1 process to a less-restrictive Phase 2 process, Runcie said.

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“If the current trends continue, and we can maintain them, and we can continue on this path of improvement, we will be in a position to reopen schools and be able to open in a phased approach that can occur as early as sometime in October,” he said.

Over the past two weeks, Broward County’s virus positivity rate has remained mostly around 4 percent, which is within the range needed for schools to consider reopening.

Runcie said he hopes festivities over the Labor Day weekend won’t lead to virus outbreaks and force the positive rate to go up.

“Everything is trending in a positive direction,” he said.

The next step in making any reopening decisions will be at the school board meeting on Sept. 22, when elected school officials will review policies and the latest data, Runcie said.

Returning to campuses will be done in phases, depending on students and schools, he said.

That means: the options will be all-virtual for some students, hybrid (part-virtual, part in-person) for other students, and five-days-a-week-on-campus for remaining students.

“All of us are anxious for our schools to reopen for face-to-face learning,” Runcie said. “But we must open in a way that is safe and in a way that is smart.”  

 

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