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Florida students won't return to school until at least April 15 amid coronavirus pandemic

Parents will be allowed to keep their kids in the same grade for next year.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida school children will not return to class until at least April 15 because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran, joining Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference Tuesday, said the state has directed K-12 schools to extend the timeline of students not going to campus mid-April.

DeSantis announced sweeping educational changes, affecting issues including student testing and grading.

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Key points include, for the remaining part of the school year:

  • All remaining testing for school readiness, voluntarily pre-K and grades K-12 will be canceled.
  • Requirements for graduation and promotion in final course grades will be evaluated as though assessments did not exist.
  • Parents may choose to keep their children in the same grade for the 2020-21 school year.
  • K-9 grades will not be calculated for 2019-2020.
  • School districts should be prepared to extend their educational calendars through June 30, 2020.

The April 15 date means as students' spring break comes to an end, virtual learning will continue until then, at least.

The Florida Department of Education released the following statement: 

"The containment of COVID-19 is essential, and this is not a decision we made lightly. Districts have taken action and have instituted distance learning as a necessary precaution to protect students, educators, families, and Florida’s overall public health," Corcoran said. "We are working with our local school districts to provide guidance and help children who need access food during this time. Our number one priority is keeping our families safe and healthy and stopping the spread of this virus. 

"These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Florida. I will continue to work with the Governor, Superintendents, Florida College System and the State University System to do whatever we can to protect our children, our families, and our communities."

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