ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is gathering information to see if school should start after the Labor Day holiday.
The COVID-19 Florida Education Impact Survey has been sent out to parents and teachers around the state. Questions on the survey range from comfort levels with students returning to school to when they should resume classes.
"I do think it should start on time. I have a child that has a disability," said Orange County parent Marni Stahlman, expressing concerns about how the delay could impact her child's learnign.
Another Orange County parent, Mariah Clay, said, "Now that we’re out of school, I don’t think it’s a good idea for it to start after Labor Day. I think we should wait."
An FDOE spokesperson said they are waiting to see what phases take place before deciding when everyone will go back to school. Ultimately, Gov. Ron DeSantis will be the one to decide. He has been meeting with the Re-opening Florida Taskforce; however, the Florida Education Association, a statewide federation of teacher and education workers' labor unions, would like a committee with medical experts, teachers, parents and others to decide.
"We call on the Education Commissioner to create a taskforce or committee that can make recommendations to help districts in making those decisions," said Andrew Spar, vice president of the Florida Education Association.
We asked if there ha been any discussion about starting school after Labor Day.
"There have certainly been ongoing conversations, but there’s been no decisions that I know of any district saying they’re going to start after Labor Day," he said. "I think everyone is worried about the health of safety of people who work in our schools and more importantly the students."
Below are questions and numbered answers that are found on the survey. You can respond to the questions on a survey page here:
What is your comfort level with students returning to school campuses?
- Students will be safe and comfortable on campus now.
- Students will be safer if we allow them to return to campus after June 3.
- Students will not feel safe unless the CDC guidance on social distancing changes.
- Students will not feel safe until we have slowed the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and CDC guidance is lifted.
Would you feel comfortable having students on school campuses during the summer months (i.e. summer reading camps, youth development activities, summer training for athletes)?
- Possibly, but would prefer delaying student return to campus until July
- Unsure/Too soon to determine
Do you believe school campuses will be ready to open full time by the regularly scheduled (mid-August) start date, or would you rather school to start after Labor Day (September 7)?
- I would prefer follow to follow my district’s regular school calendar (mid-August).
- I would prefer to move the first day of school after Labor Day, September 7, 2020.
- Unsure/Too soon to determine
Does you or your student have access to a device (e.g. tablet, laptop)?
Do you or your student have access to a reliable internet connection?
If parents want to participate, they can send their responses to K-12 Public Schools Chancellor at Chancellor.Oliva@fldoe.org.