TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Closures for all public and private K-12 schools in Florida have been extended until May 1.
School districts across the state and here locally started sharing the news of the extended closures Monday afternoon. Districts say schools will be closed until at least Friday, May 1.
According to the Wakulla County School Board, Commissioner Richard Corcoran made the announcement during a conference call with the state's school superintendents Monday afternoon.
“While we work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, one constant remains—students can and will continue to receive a great education in Florida. It is essential that students do not fall behind and are still receiving instruction, even when they are not in the classroom,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Florida has superb superintendents and educators whose commitment to implementing distance learning for all of Florida’s students is unmatched. It is crucial that we keep students safe and healthy, and I will continue working with each and every district to ensure that they have all the resources necessary as we respond to COVID-19.”
Leon County Schools sent out the following statement to ABC 27 after news broke about the extended closures:
The superintendent has been informed that during a conference call this afternoon, the commissioner of education announced that school campuses will be closed until Friday, May 1.
This was not unexpected.
We have been planning and preparing for an extended period of distance learning. We will continue to implement our plans and work towards a seamless transition over the next few weeks.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted all schools to either make the full transition to teaching their classes online or extend their spring breaks. Many families across the Sunshine State have also began homeschooling their children.
When the inital closure through April 15 was initially announced, the FDOE gave the following guidelines regarding state assessments, accountability for students and academic promotion on March 17:
- All remaining assessments for school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten and K-12 assessments are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Requirements for graduation and promotion, and final course grades will be evaluated as though those assessments which were cancelled did not exist.
- K-12 school grades will not be calculated for 2019-2020 and schools in turnaround may continue their current status for 2020-2021 to avoid disruption to school leadership and operations.
- Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data and results. Tests that were not available to be taken shall not be counted.
Additional guidance will be released in the following days.
The Florida Department of Education has a page dedicated to best practices for distance learning and hundreds of free resources for Florida students, parents, and teachers.
Click here to learn more information about the state's response to COVID-19.