CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Broward County schools aren’t expected to reopen in August with full enrollment, despite a state order requiring schools to return to brick-and-mortar classrooms five days a week, Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said on Tuesday.

Following a Broward County school board meeting, Runcie said in a cable news interview that the order approved by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran this week leaves room for school districts to submit alternative reopening plans based on local health conditions. 

“Given the conditions we have in Florida, I don’t see a path for us to open all of our schools, 100 percent, similar to how we existed before we closed our schools for the coronavirus pandemic,” Runcie said in an interview on MSNBC.

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As of Tuesday, Broward County has had has 22,590 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

Runcie said Broward County schools, like Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties' schools, are considering three reopening options:

1) Full-time, in-classroom learning

2) Full-time, learning online

3) A “hybrid,” in which students would learn in classes two or three days a week and online on the other days.

Runcie said Broward County schools are in the process of reviewing surveys from parents on what option they prefer most.

Based on data from more than 83,000 students, he said, option 1 (online learning) got 26 percent in the survey, option 2 (in-classroom learning) got 33 percent, and option 3 (hybrid) got 37 percent.

No final decision has been made yet on what Broward County schools will look like when they reopen on Aug. 19.

Runcie added: “We will open in a way that gives our parents options and also protects the health and safety of our students, our teachers, and our employees and provides the best quality of education that we can deliver given the circumstances that we are in.”


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