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Are South Florida Students and Teachers Ready to Reopen Public Schools?

After hearing the announcement from Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho about commencing a plan to reopen schools, many students, parents and faculty feel unprepared and not safe enough to reenter the traditional school environment.

Diane Berkley, teacher and faculty member at Ernest R Graham K-8 Academy, elaborated on what she has discussed with other teachers and faculty about the plans to reopen public schools.

Three plans have been mentioned by Mr. Carvalho and other faculty on behalf of the reopening, the plans follow as continuing the traditional setting of school while following CDC guidelines. Berkeley mentions an “AM and PM session” for students to attend schools during different times of the school day. 

Another plan mentioned by Berkley was an “A week and B week model”. This plan of doing two different weeks would allow students to attend classes one week in person and the following week classes would be held fully online. This plan would reside with Carvalho’s statement of creating a “hybrid model plan”. 

Despite the speculation of plans to reopen, “No plan is set in stone” said Berkley. 

Many concerns about having conditions that could increase the likelihood of getting coronavirus were expressed by Berkley. “Some parents and staff may not be comfortable yet and for students and teachers with conditions a fully online model would be safer”, said Berkley. 

Alberto M. Carvalho has placed another model that would be dealing with keeping school fully online for those who are not completely comfortable with going back to school. 

Berkeley said “I am a firm believer of Dr. Fauci, he has the expertise”. As a teacher, she prefers “for right now until a vaccine is made, I prefer online”. Her reasoning for wanting this option is because “social distancing with kids is going to be hard, keeping the mask on and maintaining six feet in a hallway with young children is difficult,” says Berkley. “The CDC guidelines are not school friendly,” stated Berkley. 

As for students, they are all feeling the anxiety and uncertainty of going back to school this coming fall.

Lianet Suarez and Jennifer Moreno are students currently enrolled in the Miami-Dade County public school system. Lianet Suarez, a Hialeah Gardens High School, will be entering the 12th grade this coming 2020-2021 school year. Jennifer Moreno, a Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy student, will be entering the 7th grade this coming 2020-2021 school year. 

Both of which had similar concerns when it came to the topic of reopening public schools this coming fall. 

“I don’t feel either safe or ready for schools to reopen, a vaccine for the virus hasn’t been made yet and with the amount of people that will be present in school, there’s no way to prevent the virus from spreading amongst the students and staff members” said Lianet. 

“I don’t feel safe for schools to be open because another fact can be that not all students have the right necessities to be safe such as, having masks, gloves or even hand sanitizer” said Jennifer. 

There is no confirmed plan of action for schools to reopen, however, if things were to go back to normal Jennifer and Lianet would take great precaution to protect themselves.

“In the case that schools reopen, I would protect myself by wearing a mask, washing my hands often and keeping a safe distance” said Jennifer. 

Despite the many concerns and feelings of uncertainty, Miami-Dade County Public schools are using parent and staff surveys to make sure these concerns are heard.
As for the fall, Miami-Dade is ensuring the safety and health of students, parents and staff. Once the time comes to return to campus, there will be a sense of fear in many but as a community, Miami-Dade will push through these uncertain times. 


For more updates about the reopening of Miami-Dade public schools please visit: www.dadeschools.net


Hi, I'm Katherine. I am inspired by the arts, adore Asian culture, am a huge animal lover and enjoy writing. I hope my creative works bring enlightenment to the readers of Her Campus. Let the good times roll!
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