BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Schools open in just a week for students in the Palm Beach County School District but parents largely have no idea what they’re sending their kids into. Principals are consistently sharing incomplete plans with parents, if any plans at all.
Still unknown in most schools: whether teachers will simultaneously teach “distance” and in-classroom, or whether kids will suddenly be assigned new teachers. If they are, there is no understanding if the lesson plans will sync up, should children need to switch from in-person to distance — or distance to in-person — due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Some principals are just cutting and pasting blanket documents sent from the Palm Beach County School District — documents that do not provide school level information. Others are sending emails with rules, but no plans. Some are sending nothing.
At one elementary school, a principal apparently reported that teachers will not be allowed to have any physical contact with children — even helping a child open a Chromebook. That same school reported that children may not touch each other’s paper or pencils.
Parents and guardians are sharing what they’ve heard with BocaNewsNow.com by using the form which we’ve provided below. While a few parents are complementary, most are expressing dismay, outrage and incredulity that school leaders still have no idea what they’re doing.
We continue to publish a sampling of responses we’ve received. We are not publishing parent names.
EMERALD COVE MIDDLE SCHOOL
We were sent the districts generic email along with an attachment called the ECMS SOP (student operational procedures). The SOP lists a lot of helpful materia about the plan for return to school. Here some of it.
PALM SPRINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Over flow rooms
-Desks placed 3 feet apart – admin tried to do 6 feet, but most desks in classrooms are 3 feet.
-Teaching virtual and face to face students at the same time
-Face to face students will be taught the exact same way as virtual (not explicitly stated by anyone, but how else are we supposed to teach two different groups at the same time)
-Students eat breakfast in classrooms and enter classrooms up to 30 minutes earlier than usual (cut into morning teacher planning time)
-Teachers being asked to supervise students eating lunch in the courtyard During their own lunch time (being paid for lunch time duty)
-Water fountains closed
-Absolutely no sharing of objects – paper, crayons, pens, pencils
-Students bring devices every day
-Teachers being given a bottle of soap and water to clean desks between classes
-Students escorted to bathrooms by admin
-Admin has said the district comes out with new rules every day
BOCA RATON HIGH SCHOOL
We have not heard a word from her (the principal) the entire summer or as of yet. She is the worst communicator.
We already had Virtual Open House and she said nothing.
WHISPERING PINES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Principal sent a rambling letter with links to district information but nothing about what will happen in the school. There has been no personalized communication about Whispering Pines itself.
WATERS EDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
We are one week away from coming back to campus. Woo Hoo! This is such an exciting, but very busy time. I have been answering a lot of questions from our community, so let me share some of the most asked:
- Students who choose to come back to campus will not be learning virtually. They will receive live instruction from their teacher. However, we will be limiting paper, so students may be assigned work on the computer such as iReady, SuccessMaker, etc.
- Any student that does not have a school borrowed Chromebook will be able to use one that we provide in the classroom. The district is working hard to get additional Chromebooks to schools so that each child can have their own.
- Teachers will be flexible with electronic assignments and due dates, since we cannot expect that every child has a device in the room.
- We will continue with our no homework policy once back to brick and mortar.
- We will not have an overflow room as we do not plan on having a need for this type of structure.
- Teachers will be teaching synchronously, students face to face and those virtually, to start the year. This will give us time to evaluate the numbers and the most effective teaching plan for our students.
- Masks are required except when students are eating or drinking. Please have your child practice wearing a mask at home. Please consider sending in an extra mask for your child in case a change of mask is necessary.
We cannot wait to have our students back on campus. Our teachers, staff, and administration have worked hard to create a safe and effective learning environment. Thank you for your support and understanding through this uncertain time.
SEMINOLE RIDGE HIGH
Our principal has informed us via email, that students do not need to bring devices to school. Chrome Books, if needed for lessons, will be provided by school on campus.
NORTH GRADE ELEMENTARY
The school and superintendent are doing a fabulous job of communicating in this trying time. We are receiving emails and calls, whenever I call with a question I am met with willingness and compassion. We are choosing to stay home because that’s what the statistics read. I am furious with our local PBC government and Desantis for strong arming PBC into reopening when we are not ready.
I know this isn’t a Boca School, but my daughter goes to middle school in Wellington, and we received, word for word, the exact same thing that you reported for Everglades Elementary. Definitely scripted.
What are you hearing from your school? Use this form to let us know.
LOCAL JOURNALISM SUPPORTER.
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