Over the weekend, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran called on all public and private K-12 schools in the Sunshine State continue to rely on distance learning and keep campuses closed through the end of the academic year.
“Florida’s school districts have worked diligently with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) to operationalize their distance learning plans by March 30, and FDOE provided that same support to public charter schools and many private schools, ensuring continuation of the best possible educational services throughout Florida,” the FDOE noted.
DeSantis weighed in on the decision, which had been urged by school districts across the state, on Saturday.
“Although COVID-19 has been a huge disruption for Florida students and educators, Florida teachers have done a fantastic job leading the nation in distance learning. Our number one goal is to ensure the safety and security of students and to provide a great education. At this point, opening school campuses would cause a massive shift for our students, teachers and families who have done a great job of adapting to distance education,” said DeSantis.
“Florida’s education community has risen to the occasion, Florida students are resilient, and I am proud of Florida’s educators. We will do everything we can to continue supporting distance learning throughout the state,” the governor added.
“Today’s recommendation to continue distance learning, will give our students, their families, teachers and our school leaders the ability to maximize student learning, while ensuring everyone’s health and safety continues to be our first priority,” said Corcoran. “As students continue to excel in distance learning, we will continue to work with superintendents, school administrations, colleges, teachers, parents and students to implement best practices, resources and support systems to ensure positive educational outcomes for those most affected.”
Last month, the FDOE canceled state assessments during the spring “meaning that schools gained back instructional time that will allow local districts and schools to still end the school year based on their local calendars.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.