DeLand, FL - The state of Florida is going through the phases of reopening and school districts are working on plans to reopen the schools. The Florida Education Association (FEA) has submitted a 10-page list of recommendations to the Florida Department of Education and legislators on June 2 and locally, Volusia United Educators (VUE) President Elizabeth Albert is involved in the process.
Albert says here in Volusia County, there are over 100 people, from district leadership to parents, to VUE members, business folks, the district advisory committee, past Boardmembers, and medical professionals working on the best way to reopen.
The FEA convened a task force to look at the process of safely reopening Florida's public schools. Albert said they focused on priorities and made general recommendations. "Recognizing that districts need to make decisions that work for them. For example, Miami-Dade is very different from Flagler. FEA put out some basic presets that just say these would be things we would suggest you consider."
Albert said that any stakeholder in Volusia County should know that 'we recognize, first and foremost, the importance of reopening our schools and the effect that it has on our community. "With that understanding, we have to get it right. We have to prioritize the health and safety of all stakeholders. Our children, our educational professionals, our families, and our communities. " She said that is why we have so many different viewpoints participating in this committee.
The work to open the schools is just in the beginning stages, according to Albert. She said they have a very robust schedule and a tight timeline with multiple meetings each week. Nothing is finalized yet and Albert said that they want to get it right. She said there are a number of variables that could change between now and August.
The timeline to complete the proposal is the end of June, which Albert said is not a lot of time. She said that members of the committee are committed to the work, clearing their schedules and prioritizing the meetings.
The current calendar was printed two years ago. It shows teachers returning to school on August 11 and students returning on August 17. Albert said this could still happen but it is not written in stone.