Donald Fennoy staff message Dr. Donald Fennoy, Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools, in staff message some are calling “incoherent and combative.”

SCHOOL DISTRICT: Home Vs. In-Person Choice Should Have No Teacher Impact

COVID-19 Florida News Palm Beach County Schools

Florida Department of Education Unaware Of Palm Beach County School District Mandate, “Investigating.”

School Source: The Trump COVID-19 Infection May Lead Non-Believers To Keep Kids Home

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

Donald Fennoy staff message
Dr. Donald Fennoy, the embattled Superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District, wants parents to make a binding choice for in-person or distance learning by October 15th. The choice will be in effect until January.

BOCA RATON, FL ( — In a Friday night statement to, Palm Beach County School District Spokeswoman Claudia Shea said parents should not be concerned that a decision to keep their kids home for the rest of the semester will result in a teacher change.

“Our goal would always be not to change a student’s teacher and would only be done if necessary,” said Shea.

Apprehension has been growing over the past several days after reported that the Palm Beach County School District planned to require parents to make a binding, long-term choice by October 15th. That announcement was officially made Friday afternoon, but there was no information provided to parents about what it meant for teacher assignments.

“We have no idea of choosing in-person or choosing distance learning will result in a new teacher,” said a parent. “We don’t that to happen.”

A Friday afternoon email sent by individual principals district-wide, but penned by school district officials, made it clear that decisions must be made by mid-October are binding through mid-January. A parent or guardian choosing distance learning will be stuck with that decision until the end of the semester. The same is true for parents and guardians choosing “in person” education.

“The problem was many kids were bouncing back and forth every day  and not really adhering to the one week provision we put in place,” said Shea.

School officials originally adopted a plan where parents and guardians could move their children from “distance” to “in person” with just a week’s notice. That proved problematic. Principals complained that they could not adequately “socially distance” classrooms with short notice. Some — but not many — teachers complained that simultaneously teaching to children in school, and online, is too difficult.

While the Palm Beach County School District is mandating that parents and guardians make a long-term choice, the Florida Department of Education may have the final say. Sources tell that the DOE was not aware of the school district’s demand.

“There is no situation in which this administration is going to prevent a child from going to school, in person, no matter what a school district says,” said a Florida government source. “If the school district needs a week, that’s fine. But telling parents that they can’t send their kids to school until January is likely a non-starter.”

We asked a spokeswoman for Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran for official comment. That spokeswoman said the department was unaware of the Palm Beach County mandate but was looking into the matter.

A mid-level manager in the Palm Beach County School District told that there is now an expectation that President Trump’s COVID-19 infection is going to change things.

“Our school is already hearing from parents who may not have accepted that COVID is a risk changing their minds and asking if their kids can immediately move to distance learning.”


Paul Saperstein


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