Palm Beach Schools: Constant Hand Washing, Masking, When Is Learning Time?

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In Switch, Some Parents Now Concerned In-Person Learning Will Focus Too Much On Safety, Not Enough On Schooling

palm beach county schools

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — There is new, perhaps ironic concern Thursday morning that the battered and berated Palm Beach County School District is so focused now on following CDC guidelines that any benefit in having kids back for “live” learning will be mitigated by the amount of time being spent following policies and procedures.

Principals throughout South Palm Beach County — often blamed for the missteps of Superintendent Donald Fennoy and the school board — are this week engaged in live video presentations for parents and students about what to expect when they return to “brick and mortar” schools on Monday. Among the policies: hand washing multiple times a day. Recess with no equipment and mandatory social distancing with mask use. An absolute moratorium on shared pencils, paper, books, everything.


While no one questions the importance of following guidelines, parents are reaching out to BocaNewsNow.com to question the benefit of “in person” learning.


“Let’s say half of a class goes back to school, so roughly ten kids,” wrote a parent. “If they’re washing hands multiple times a day, that could legitimately be 30 minutes to an hour a day spent lining up six feet a part, using what may be a singular sink in a classroom if there is one at all, each child washing for at least 20 seconds, drying, then returning to their desks. It’s a little thing that is going to become a big thing.”

From another parent: “I’m not seeing a social upside to telling kids they have to stay away from each other on a playground where they’re not allowed to use equipment and must wear masks.”

Children in some schools will be given plexiglass dividers to put on their desks while they eat breakfast and lunch.

“So now we’re spending time with kids having to install their own barriers. That may be okay in high school and middle school, but how is a 2nd grader gong to do that?” asked another parent.

The fact that plans are being criticized is a major step forward from just a week ago where parents complained that there were no plans. But several contacting BocaNewsNow.com say they are rethinking their initial decision to send kids to school on Monday.

“I want my kids to go back,” wrote a Boca-area parent. “But not like this. Not yet. It incredibly sounds like they’ll still get a better education using a computer at home where they don’t need to wear masks or follow a laundry list of rules just to use the bathroom.”


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