Charter school operator rethinks reopening decision

redefinED staff

Keys Gate Charter School in Homestead, Florida, is one of several campuses managed by Charter Schools USA that will begin the academic year with distance-learning only.

One of the largest public charter school operators in Florida has revisited a decision to open its brick-and-mortar locations for the coming school year, citing concerns over a spike in COVID positivity in some counties it serves.

Charter Schools USA, which operates 92 schools in five states, had informed families it would physically open all 14 of its South Florida schools. Last week, officials announced that the Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County campuses would offer a “fully mobile classroom experience” instead.

Those schools will equip classrooms with voice-activated camera technology that will follow teachers around empty classrooms. Students will have a full view of the room as well as any materials a teacher wants them to see.

Officials say they will keep a close eye on COVID data and will have all 18,000 Charter Schools USA students back to in-person education as soon as possible. Teachers with health and safety concerns who are still hesitant to return to the classroom will have the option of teaching remotely.

 In the meantime, the two CSUSA schools in St. Lucie County will offer three options: in-person instruction, fully mobile classrooms and a combination of in-person and mobile learning.

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