Monroe Schools will offer full-time on-campus learning to all students on March 29

Spring Break last year marked the divide for Monroe County public schools between campus classes and home learning.

This year, it will mark the return of full-time learning on campus for all grade levels. On Tuesday, the district announced its intention that March 29 will be the day middle school and high school students can choose to return to campus every day.

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Since September, Kindergarten to Grade 5 students have attended school on campus every day. But most middle and high school students have alternate schedules, where they are in school buildings one day and learn at home the next.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran wrote last week to Monroe Schools Superintendent Theresa Axford, saying it had been “brought to our attention that Monroe County Public Schools may failing to comply fully “with its decree requiring all districts to provide face-to-face classes to all students at least five days a week.

He proposed that Monroe County make this change by March 15.

Superintendent Theresa Axford responded, noting that the district had consulted with the local state Department of Health office – as provided for in Corcoran’s order. She asked that the district have until March 29, when classes will resume after the spring break scheduled for March 22-26.

It would also give the district more time to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in the Upper Keys District Transportation Office, where 12 of 18 staff were forced into self-quarantine due to a positive test or exposure to a person who tested positive.

Parents of Monroe Public Schools have been invited to complete a survey, indicating whether they want their child to return to school every day or to remain in work-study.

Those who now attend a virtual school full-time will have the option of continuing to do so or returning to campus full-time.

The survey is available on the district website in English, Spanish and Creole. Hard copies will also be available in schools with grades 6 to 12. According to the website, the investigation is expected on March 15, “or the current schedule remains in place.”

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Jeffrey G. Foley

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