Second Semester Update

Instructional Choice Extended for K-12 and VPK Through Spring Semester
Posted on 12/01/2020
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On November 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he has approved an Executive Order extending parental choice in education modality, through the spring. The Order means that the Palm Beach County School District will remain open for in-person instruction for K-12 students, and will continue to offer parents and guardians the option of choosing distance learning instruction through the spring semester.

In addition, the Florida Department of Education and Office of Early Learning announced the extension of parental choice in the VPK Flex program through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The decision gives parents the choice to have their child enrolled for in-person or distance learning through the remainder of the school year. Parents should inform their child’s teacher or principal of their instruction preference before Winter Break.

The District has continually supported parental choice regarding a child’s preferred mode of instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Superintendent Donald E. Fennoy II said in a letter to parents on November 30. “I am grateful to the Governor and the Florida Department of Education for continuing this process.”

The Governor’s K-12 Executive Order also contains the protections of school district funding and one new addition. Parents and guardians must be notified by their child’s school if the student is struggling in distance learning. School administrators will discuss the potential academic benefits of returning the child to in-person instruction, but that decision will ultimately be left to the parent.

To receive the benefits provided for in the Executive Order, school districts must submit a Spring 2021 Education Plan to the Department of Education that satisfies the requirements of the Order. 

The current mode of instruction that parents selected for the first semester stays in effect for the remainder of the first semester, which ends on January 29, 2021. After Winter Break, parents and guardians of K-12 students in District-operated schools will need to indicate their instruction preference for the second semester which begins on February 2, 2021, and runs until the end of the school year.

From January 4-11, 2021, K-12 parents and guardians can go to the Student Portal to indicate their choice of instruction method for the second semester.

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