MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla — The United States' fourth-largest school district will be making its return to education this fall online only, for now.
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made the announcement Wednesday while laying out the district's plan for reopening.
"M-DCPS strives to safely return students to the physical schoolhouse, but we recognize that doing so will not be possible while Miami-Dade County remains in Phase 1 of The Plan for Florida's Recovery," the district wrote online.
It also reported that its plan to reopen schools assumes brick and mortar will return once the county enters Phase 2.
Schooling in the county this fall is set to being on Aug. 24 with orientations and teacher training. Then on Aug. 31 students will officially begin online classes.
Carvalho said the start of the year will being under Stage 1 meaning all education will proceed online through "My School Online."
The county will work on face-to-face opportunities in cases where remote learning does not work for students with special needs, CBS Miami reports.
Miami-Dade Schools are projecting Sept. 30 as the date it will meet to reassess the local COVID-19 conditions and are targeting Oct. 5 for the start of Stage 2, which involves hybrid learning.
A timeline for Stage 3 has yet to be set.
Carvalho addressed that he understands many families may have already begun planning for the preferred method of schooling they wanted for their child, but that ultimately the decision to start online is what's best for students, employees.
"In light of the viral surge in our community, we believe it is in the best interest of our students and employees to delay the return to the schoolhouse and commence the 2020-2021 school year from a distance.," he wrote in a Facebook post.
Miami-Dade County continues to be a hotspot area for the coronavirus in the state of Florida, producing 113,143 cases since the pandemic began in March.
As of Wednesday morning, data reported to the Florida Department of Health shows the total number of coronavirus cases statewide sits at 451,423.
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