DeLand, FL - Up until this past Saturday, it was unclear if schools would reopen before the end of this school year. Governor Ron DeSantis announced his decision that distance learning will continue.
The Florida Education Association sent a letter to the Governor last week saying that distance learning should continue. Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert agreed. She said that the first priority is to keep everyone healthy. Everyone is trying to get through it but there have been challenges. "We've taken four thousand teachers and almost 63,000 students and we have completely altered the way that they teach and learn in the course of about two weeks."
The Governor and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran have both stated a mandate for grading in the fourth quarter, according to Albert. She disagrees saying that the quality of distance learning is an unknown. "There's a lot that's involved in taking a grade. Our school district has worked with us to try and manage the mandate and create a mechanism that will work for everyone."
A group called Florida Students has a petition circulating on Change.org asking the Governor to Void 4th Quarter Grading and Pass All 2019/2020 Classes. The petition needs 300,000 signatures and currently has more than 217,000.
Albert said they don't know if all the students are taking part in distance learning and at this time, there's now way to find out. "They (teachers) are very concerned about the children who they haven't connected with. Some of our kids have taken a device and we still haven't engaged with them. That's another component of grading, too. That's the biggest concern of the teachers and paraprofessionals who are working with the kids."