On April 18, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that schools in the state of Florida will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. DeSantis follows in the footsteps of 27 other states that have already announced school closures.
Because distance learning has already been implemented, DeSantis believes that it is safer and wiser to continue this way of learning until the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
“It’s not the ideal situation, but given where we are in the school year, we felt that that was the best decision to go forward,” DeSantis said during a press briefing to Spectrum Bay News 9.
Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and Miami Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho have tweeted in support of the governor’s decision.
“I support Governor Desantis’ decision that Florida K-12 schools will continue with distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. It’s the right thing to do as the safety of our students, teachers and staff is the highest priority,” Runcie tweeted.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas staff and students have a range of emotions regarding the official closure of school, but understand it is necessary under the circumstances. Seniors are especially disappointed by the closure of school, knowing that a traditional last few weeks of high school is no longer possible.
“Obviously it was bound to happen and expected, but it still upsets me now that it’s official,” senior Jared Block said.
Teachers are doing their best to plan a curriculum that allows their students to succeed despite not being physically at school. They are also keeping in mind the unique pressures and circumstances students are facing due to COVID-19.
“I’m heartbroken that this is how the rest of the school year will be,” MSD sociology teacher Veronica Aranguren said. “It’s not what anyone imagined, but we are all doing our best to stay safe, stay connected and give each other the support we need.”
Students, parents and faculty throughout the state of Florida are adjusting to the changes that come with DeSantis’ announcement.