TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS12) — The Florida Department of Education is ordering that all school districts need to reopen schools next month, according to an executive order.
However, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said it's up to the individual school district to decide how they want to reopen those schools.
"Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health" he said.
But if schools want to reopen under innovative learning, which is a mix of virtual and in-person schooling, they need to submit a plan to the department for approval.
The schools must provide all services that are required by law, including in-person instruction and specialized instruction, as well as services to students from low-income families, students of migrant workers, homeless students, students in foster care , student with disabilities and students who are English Language Learners, the department states.
All charter school governing boards need to submit a reopening plan to their respective school districts for approval, according to Corcoran. Private schools that accept scholarship students must also submit a reopening plan to the department.
The Palm Beach County School District sent the following statement about the order to CBS12 News:
The Palm Beach County School District has another meeting with the DOE tomorrow at 3 pm - we should have more clarity at that time. We are also seeking a lot of guidance from the Health Advisory Committee. That's a District organized Committee that includes Dr. Alina Alonso (FL Dept of Health) and others. That Committee met this afternoon.
Keep in mind that part of the executive order reads:
WHEREAS, school openings must be consistent with safety precautions as defined by the Florida Department of Health, local health officials, and supportive of Floridians, young and adult, with underlying conditions that make them medically vulnerable.
We are still in phase 1 in Palm Beach County.
Click here to read the full emergency order.