Miami-Dade County schools have followed the Covid-19 guidelines of Governor Ron DeSantis this fall semester, encouraging the return of students to schools while also ensuring families have access to remote learning. As cases have surged in the county, many have wondered if those plans will remain the same for Spring semester 2021 starting in January.
How are Miami-Dade county schools planning to handle Covid-19?
Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) have created a comprehensive program called Reopen Smart/Return Safe, found online here. At a recent meeting discussing learning in 2021, M-DCPS expressed a commitment to returning students to in-person learning as quickly as possible while still providing families with the option of remote learning.
The Reopen Smart/Return Safe Schoolhouse Model details measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including:
- Enhanced cleaning of facilities daily
- Parental guidance to conduct pre-arrival screenings daily at home
- Requiring face coverings for all students and faculty
- Sanitation stations installed in high traffic areas and on buses
- Revised seating and capacity limitations to aid social distancing
- An Isolation Room at each school for students and staff presenting symptoms
- Visible signage in each area promoting healthy hygiene and protective practices
What other learning modules will be available to families in Miami-Dade County schools?
For families who do not wish their children to return to in-person learning, “My School Online” is the distance learning option available to students of Miami-Dade County. Students can log in via the Reopen Smart/Return safe website.
Which learning module is safest for my family?
Aspects to consider as you weigh your options include whether your household or social bubble include someone in a high risk category (including but not limited to elderly, pregnant, or immunocompromised individuals). Another consideration is whether either option impacts the household provider(s) ability to work.
Ultimately, it is up to you to balance your child’s educational needs with the health risks involved.
What if someone at school tests positive for Covid-19?
As explained in the Reopen Smart/Return Safe website, the school district notifies the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) of all confirmed cases among students and staff. This triggers a contact-tracing process to determine who may be at risk. The person with a confirmed case and those exposed will be instructed to quarantine and transition to remote learning until they are cleared by FDOH to return to school.
When should I get my child tested?
While M-DCPS does not require a negative test to return to school in every instance of exposure, testing is a valuable tool in stopping the spread of Covid-19. If you have a vulnerable person in your household or social bubble and your child exhibits symptoms, you should arrange to keep your child isolated and arrange a test. Should you be notified that your child was exposed, it is best to follow the guidance of FDOH.
Where can I get a test for my child?
The Miami-Dade County Website features a free Covid-19 Testing Site Finder. The Reopen Smart/Return Safe website also provides a schedule of dates a mobile clinic will be available to offer free testing for children in the county ages 4-18. The county also has limited Homebound Testing for disabled or homebound individuals.
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