first_imgDistrict officials said Saturday that the union’s concerns will “receive serious consideration,” although they added that they are surveying parents and their own employees to help with the decision.“It’s important to remember that final decisions that the District will make will be based on a variety of factors including financial, legal, health and other requirements that the District must meet in the best interests of all students, staff and community members,” the district said in a statement.District leaders are still developing school-reopening plans, but intend for students to have an option to learn completely from home or take in-person classes in some form.The school board’s longest serving member, Debra Robinson, has called for delaying the beginning of the school year.A majority of board members said they are open to exploring that proposal.While saying it is theoretically possible that new cases could decline significantly in the six weeks before classes resume, Katz expressed doubt that would happen with enough time to prepare teachers and students for in-person classes on the first day.“We seem to be back on the wrong side of the curve,” he said, referring to recent jumps in the number of coronavirus infections in Palm Beach County and statewide, “and worse off than before.” Palm Beach County’s teachers union is asking the school district to keep campuses closed to students when the academic year begins in August.They say that a return to in-person schooling is “a dangerous gamble” with coronavirus cases increasing here.In a letter to district leaders, teachers union President Justin Katz said on Friday that the recent spike in infections makes it nearly impossible to guarantee a safe return, despite social distancing measures.“The dangerous trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Florida has led us to believe that (in-person schooling) should still be offered, but not until a point in time when the on-campus option can be executed in a safe and responsible manner,” Katz wrote. “We no longer believe that is possible at this time.”Katz calls on the school board to “limit instruction to virtual means with no on-campus activity with students until such time that the medical and scientific community are able to convey that it is safe to do so.”The district has been planning to start school Aug. 10.However, the union represents 12,500 teachers, counselors and other educators. Many of those individuals are 60 or older, placing them at greater risk from COVID-19.last_img

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