Students enrolled in Miami-Dade County Public Schools will resume classes a week later this year and will continue learning from home.
The school year will start on Monday, Aug. 31, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Wednesday during a virtual meeting of the school board.
Carvalho said authorities believed it was in everyone’s best interest “to commence the 2020 school year from a distance.”
About the delayed start of classes that will push back reopening to one week later than originally planned, Carvalho said, “We are prepared but we must delay deploying the schoolhouse model until conditions in our community improve.”
Miami-Dade County is the epicenter of the coronavirus in Florida.
The World Health Organization recommends that the positivity rate for virus testing be at 5% for two or more weeks.
Miami-Dade County’s positivity rate has ranged from 22.8% on July 19 to 16.3% on July 28.
The state reported a cumulative 113,143 cases in the county as of Tuesday, and 1,455 deaths.
The tally of COVID-19 cases in Miami Lakes was 596.
Teachers will attend orientation the week of Aug. 24.
The board said it is in Phase 1, offering virtual, online lessons as they have since mid-March when schools were closed to try and prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
They expect to enter Stage 2 by Oct. 5, which will enable students to attend classes on their campuses for up to five days per week.
Officials hope conditions improve considerably and will let parents know by Sept. 30 if they are ready for that next stage.
School Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman said, "I believe that the reopening plan we have in place is very good, as it respects parental choice, which is of utmost importance to me personally."
If the pandemic is brought under control enough to allow full class schedules in schools and if parents aren’t ready to send their kids back, distance learning, called My School Online, will still be an option for those families.