Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC
Remember the excitement (or dread) as a child when it was time to go back to school shopping? Did it include shiny new school supplies, new clothes, new shoes? All of us had some familiar back to school ritual activities. In a year where nothing feels familiar, back to school time certainly isn’t either.
How to go back to school is yet one major thing that divides us during this pandemic. In July, Governor DeSantis signed executive orders that all schools must open with traditional in-person learning this year. The result? Educators sued DeSantis and the Education Commission asking for an injunction to stop state officials from taking any action IF schools do not open for on-campus learning. The argument is that opening schools when it is unsafe to do so is unconstitutional. Concerns over safety are paramount and in an ABC Poll in July, 55% of parents were against in-school learning, while only 44% were okay with sending their children back.
In 2020 (the year that Coronavirus stole from us), back to school, or even if you are going back to school depends upon where you live. Palm Beach County throughout the Treasure Coast, the start of the school year as well as options for how instruction will be conducted varies widely. As business owners, employees, and parents we must grapple with what and where our children will be during normal work/school hours.
In Martin County, the school year started on time this past Tuesday on August 11 and families have the choice of in-person learning or virtual learning. Thirty-Severn percent of Martin County students have opted for the virtual option. Next up is Okeechobee County where the start of the school year was pushed back a week to August 17, offering live online and full time online. Both the Indian River and St. Lucie County delayed the start of the school year to August 24th. St. Lucie has three options, classroom, virtual, and transitional distance learning. Indian River has person learning, distance learning, and has also partnered with Mosaic Digital Academy. Palm Beach County with the highest positive Coronavirus rate in the immediate area had only once choice for families with distance learning beginning on August 31 and a phase-in approach by grade level when it was safe to return to school which is when Palm Beach County is allowed to enter Phase Two of the state reopening plan. That changed significantly on Wednesday when the board voted 6 to 1 to allow parents to decide when their children would return once it is safe to do so, totally eliminating the phase-in plan.
All schools must follow CDC Guidelines for safety in schools. They even have handy fliers to be posted to remind students to be safe!
Back to school 2020 is not without major changes and challenges. At NaviPay we wish all our local educators’ good luck and good health. We are certain that our kids are in good hands and that many of you will be facing this crazy year with patience, compassion, and creativity. Kind of like Dr.Lee, a principal in Alabama with his rendition of an MC Hammer Classic……