Governor Ron DeSantis announced that all Florida public schools will remain closed through April 15 on Tuesday. In addition, all statewide assessments will be canceled for the rest of the school year.
This decision will extend Palm Beach County school closures from two weeks to a full month in response to the spread of COVID-19 throughout Florida and the United States. The canceled statewide assessments include the Florida Standardized Assessments, such as the FSA Reading and Writing assessments, and all end-of-course exams administered by the state. The Florida Department of Education says that school districts may have to extend the school year through June 30.
“Requirements for graduation, promotion, and final course grades will be evaluated as if those assessments did not exist,” DeSantis said in the announcement. “Parents may, at their discretion, choose to keep their child in the same grade for the 2021 school year.”
PBCSD Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy II will be hosting a live news conference on March 18 at 11:30 a.m. to debrief parents and students on the district’s plans to implement remote learning. Virtual programs would allow students to keep up with their learning from home without risking further spread of the virus. The broadcast can be viewed at palmbeachschools.org.
DeSantis also announced that “K–12 grades will not be calculated” for this school year. Walt Griffin, the superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools, clarified that this applies only for school evaluation grades, not student grades.
“The state issues school grades each year based on a school’s performance. Since there will be no state testing, there will be no new school grades for 2019–20,” Griffin said in a Twitter post.
As of March 18, there are currently 216 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida, and a seventh death has been reported in Manatee County.
This is a developing story. Follow The Muse on social media for more updates.