Every Monday in November CBS12 News This Morning has featured our roundtable discussions with teachers, parents, and students about how school has been going in 2020, and their experiences with learning and teaching during the pandemic.
On Monday, we'll bring their concerns to the top administrators of our local school districts to get answers.
Each of the superintendents we spoke to said they understand how difficult this year has been for everyone, while candidly adding, even they don’t have all the answers.
One complaint we heard loud and clear from teachers, and even parents, were about communication from the top.
They don’t feel they’re getting enough clear and current information from district leaders.
So I brought that concern right to them.
"Our initial plan was to move kids in and out, and that became very disruptive," said Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy. "So we figured we needed to stabilize enrollments. As we become more comfortable with our protocols, we are getting that information faster than we once were."
Another serious concern shared by parents and students is the quality of remote learning. The administrators admitted, there’s a drop off with distance learning they’re trying to address.
That’s one of our main concerns right now," said St. Lucie County Superintendent Wayne Gent. "Is inequities for kids that are at home. If parents are not actively involved, their grades will suffer. So we’re trying to work with them so they don’t, and try to assist them with additional resources.”
"When students are taking days and not finding success, that’s a lost day," says Indian River County Superintendent Dr. David Moore. "We can’t allow ourselves to expand that loss of time. So it’s working with families to find where they feel comfortable and can provide meaningful instruction.”
And finally, students who are back on campus right now – tell CBS12 News, Covid rules are simply not being followed throughout the school day. We are seeing Covid numbers rise in area schools – so we wanted to know, is that pandemic fatigue?
"No, we haven’t seen it inside the schools," said Fennoy. "Everyone is working really hard not to get complacent and hold firm to safety protocols we’ve put in place since the beginning. We have seen an uptick in cases, but we work with the Department of Health, and we are learning those cases are happening outside, and then being brought into our schools.”
Staying vigilant and aware, these district leaders agree, is a daily battle.
“It is stressful to everyone in the building," adds Moore. "We have to keep reminding them why it’s important because we don’t want to close the door to our schools."