Courts might decide what Florida’s school reopening looks like
With some students set to return to classrooms on Monday, state officials and Florida’s largest teachers union are locked in a legal battle over an order requiring schools to reopen this month amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools throughout the state shut down campuses in March because of the coronavirus, with students switching to online learning. As the virus has continued to spike throughout Florida in recent weeks, DeSantis has repeatedly said that families need to be able to choose whether to have their children return to classrooms or continue to learn from home. More from WLRN and the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday starts Friday. Here’s what‘s covered.
As school districts juggle their reopening plans and families scramble to adjust to the uncertainty, retailers are rolling out products and shopping options to help them prepare. Kids’ masks, cleaning supplies and online learning tools are among the new items on shopping lists for a back-to-school season shaped by the pandemic. But not all of them will be covered under Florida’s back-to-school sales tax holiday, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Union voices concerns about students returning to Florida’s colleges
Parents will be dropping college age students back on campuses across the state later this month. Reopening plans call for colleges and universities to be flexible, noting that not all classes will be in person. The union representing professors across the state last week called for distance learning only in the fall. “We need to be safe,” said Marshall Ogletree, executive director of the United Faculty of Florida. [Source: WJXT]
Florida Department of Education announces Teacher of the Year
An Okeechobee County educator has been named Florida's 2021 Teacher of the Year. Krista Stanley teaches sixth grade at Yearling Middle School. The Florida Department of Education made the announcement on a Zoom conference call on Tuesday afternoon. More from WPTV and NBC Miami.
Families are clamoring for the state to extend the deadline again to earn the required minimum scores on college entrance exams for the Bright Futures program, giving this year’s high school graduates another chance to secure scholarships covering up to 100% of their tuition. Students initially had until June 30 to take the exams, but after several testing sessions were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the department extended the deadline until July 31. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› USF football seeking replacement foes for 2020 non-conference schedule [Tampa Bay Times]
Faced with the likelihood of losing two non-conference games from its 2020 schedule, USF is seeking alternate opponents to fill those vacancies, the Tampa Bay Times has learned. Whether the school’s search is confined to Florida remains unclear, but administrators believe landing a new opponent on short notice is plausible.
› New STEM-focused doctoral program to prepare architects for leadership positions in design professions [FIU News]
FIU is the first Florida university to launch a Doctor of Design (DDes) degree to prepare architects for global leadership careers in design investigation, industry, applied research and related emerging technology fields. The DDes was approved by the Florida Board of Governors and will be offered in the spring 2021 semester through FIU’s Department of Architecture, housed in the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts. The new degree is one of only five post-professional DDes programs nationwide.
› Tracking coronavirus: Florida turns to students for help with contact tracing [Tampa Bay Times]
More than 400 public health students from 22 Florida universities have helped the state with contact tracing, an investigative process used to locate people who have been exposed to an infectious disease. They call those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, then ask them detailed questions about their interactions to track possible spread.
› Big weddings just a memory as Florida planners offer small-group vows [Miami Today]
The big weddings of yesteryear may seem like a distant memory, but despite taking an undeniable hit many vendors and service providers in Miami’s wedding industry have managed to hold on, prepare for the future and launch innovative new platforms, services and side businesses. Though these vendors are certainly experiencing Covid-related challenges, they have also managed to seize and create opportunities by taking advantage of technology and working within social distancing parameters to create safe and unique experiences for clients.