BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Parents of students at Omni Middle School are being warned that if their children attend “brick and mortar” school when doors open Monday, they very well may be sent to an overflow room to watch teaching take place online.
BocaNewsNow.com has been contacted by several parents frustrated that “in person” learning may be nothing more than “distance learning” only taking place in a school.
“Why would I send my child into this?” asked a parent.
We have seen messages sent by several teachers. We are aggregating the information so teachers are not singled out. Among the messages and themes:
“Like most classrooms in Omni, I only have room for 11 students but more than 11 have decided to come back. That means every day I will be sending children to an overflow room.”
“You need to know that Omni, like much of the Palm Beach County School District, is short on needed supplies. We have very few wipes, sanitization products, even soap. If you want your children to be able to clean their hands and areas, have them bring their own hand sanitizer and wipes.”
“Students coming back to school must have their Chromebook charged and ready for the day. There is a lack of power strips and teachers are not allowed to move furniture for students to plug in to charge.”
Overflow rooms are highly controversial but a major part of the Palm Beach County School District plan. Students will be sent to mass gathering rooms — like auditoriums, theaters or music rooms — where they will watch their teacher online. It is the same as “distance learning” only it’s taking place in school where students must wear masks, may only use bathrooms at certain times, must stay away from classmates and will have no access to equipment for PE or recess.
“This is ludicrous,” wrote a parent to BocaNewsNow.com “My children can stay home, keep their masks off, use the bathroom whenever needed and roam freely, or I can send them to school where they’ll seemingly be under house arrest, only to see the exact same teacher on a screen.”
Omni Middle is not alone. BocaNewsNow.com has learned that many schools in South Palm Beach County will be utilizing overflow rooms when school resumes for in-person learning on Monday. At least a few elementary schools, however, seem to be able to socially distance based on low “return to brick and mortar” numbers at this time.
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