Broward County schools move forward with ‘grace and compassion’
The spring classroom closures taught administrators in Broward County Public Schools that, going forward, students will need uninterrupted instruction that’s tailored to their individual needs.
One reason for this is some students will have fallen behind because of learning time lost during both the spring closures and summer break, Daryl Diamond, the district’s director of innovative learning, said during a webinar this week on lessons Florida districts learned during school closures.
“We need to be flexible in regards to attendance and student submission of work,” Diamond said. “Many high school students are now the breadwinners for their families, so we need to have grace and compassion as we move forward.”
The district’s Broward Virtual School will be an option for families who are not comfortable sending students back to school while COVID-19 is still spreading, Diamond said.
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Over the summer, administrators will develop a plan to allow students in the virtual school to participate in extracurricular activities at their home schools.
The district will also provide professional development to teachers who will likely have maneuver seamlessly and simultaneously between face-to-face and online students, Diamond said.
Providing students with social-emotional support guided by trauma-informed teaching techniques will also be crucial to help students readjust. “The pandemic has highlighted the inequities that exist in our social systems,” Diamond said. “For many of our students, school is that social safety net.”
DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.