Public Schools Getting Back on Track

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County public schools and Monroe County’s Key Largo school remained closed while damage assessment, clean-up, and repairs could be made as well as bus routes cleared.

   Most MDCPS area public schools opened Monday, Sept 18th with normal bus transportation. The final school reopened, Monday, Sept 25th, as did the Key Largo School.

   With the school year barely underway before the storm hit, most major school events had not yet taken place. Among major events, however, Open Houses are one of the primary means of parent/student/school communication for the start of each year. Based on information from the Media Relations Director, Office of Communications, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the senior high school and specialty centers were scheduled for Monday, September 25 - Thursday, 28, 2017 and with the reopening of schools, those dates were not affected. Open house dates for

elementary schools/K-8’s as well as middle schools have been modified. The new dates are as follows:

   Elementary Schools/Early Childhood and K8 Centers were rescheduled for Monday, September 25 -

Thursday, 28, 2017.  In the event there is a conflict with date selected, the alternate dates are: Monday, October 16 - Thursday, October 19, 2017

  Middle Schools will now be Tuesday, October 3, 2017; Monday, October 9 or Tuesday, October 10, 2017

   A major decision for both Miami-Dade and Monroe County is the temporary availability of the free lunch program to all students. The program will be available to all enrolled students through October 20, 2017. After that date, normal requirements of the free/reduced cost lunch program will resume. This program is in addition to the normal free breakfast available to all students every day.

   Each school is in the process of rescheduling other events impacted by the hurricane and they will notify students and parents of those changes. All changes for MDCPS are anticipated to be set and announced next week. Any changes for Key Largo will be released as soon as possible according to the Monroe County Schools Public Relations Director.

   Dr. Lawrence S. Feldman of the School Board of Miami-Dade County is well-known within the communities and he has been touring schools throughout the district since the roads became passable.  “I’m very pleased with the re-opening of schools following the hurricane and the work of all who helped to welcome back students to a safe learning environment. We know that when kids are in school following an event such as this, a sense of normalcy returns to the community.  I share with you that the State Section 1011.60(2) of the Florida Statutes indicates that schools must operate for 180 actual teaching days or the equivalent on an hourly basis to participate in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP).  Our Commissioner of Education has authorized the waiver of up to two days of instructional time as a result of school closures.  The District reports that even with the loss of seven instructional days, this District exceeds the minimum required by the state. Right now, I do not anticipate students having to make up lost instructional time.”