Back to school? Students and teachers say no. Part 2

Original photo of Ernest R Graham K-8 Academy and Hialeah Gardens High School. (Katherine Miranda/SFMN)

Despite the fact that Miami-Dade schools aren’t scheduled to start for more than a month, a battle is brewing over whether kids should return to class or study remotely. Many students, parents and faculty feel unprepared to return. They worry it’s unsafe to reenter the traditional school environment. 

Several plans have been mentioned by Miami Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and other administrators for reopening. One of them includes a.m. and p.m. sessions. There is also an A week/B week model. This would allow students to attend classes one week in person and the following week online.  

Despite the speculation of plans to reopen, “no plan is set in stone” said Diane Berkley, a teacher and faculty member at Ernest R Graham K-8 Academy in Hialeah. 

“For right now until a vaccine is made, I prefer online,” Berkley added. “Social distancing with kids is going to be hard, keeping the mask on and maintaining six feet in a hallway with young children is difficult.” 

(For part 1 of this series, click here) 

Students are also feeling anxiety and uncertainty about going back to school this coming fall. Lianet Suarez is a student at Hialeah Gardens High School. She will be entering the twelfth grade. Jennifer Moreno will enter seventh grade at Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy in Hialeah.

They have similar concerns about reopening. 

Photo of Lianet Suarez a 2020-2021 senior ar at Hialeah Gardens High School. Photo courtesy of Lianet Suarez.

“I don’t feel either safe or ready for schools to reopen,” said Llanet. “A vaccine for the virus hasn’t been made yet and with the number of people that will be present in school, there’s no way to prevent the virus from spreading amongst the students and staff members.”  

Jennifer agreed: “I don’t feel safe for schools to be open because …not all students have the necessities to be safe such as masks, gloves or even hand sanitizer.”

There is no confirmed plan of action for schools to reopen. However, if things were to go back to normal, Jennifer and Lianet would take great precautions. 

“In the case that schools reopen, I would protect myself by wearing a mask, washing my hands often and keeping a safe distance,” said Jennifer. 

For more updates about the reopening of Miami-Dade public schools please visit dadeschools.net. 

 

Katherine Miranda is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism with a music business certification. After graduation she hopes to land a job at a radio station to get to know a variety of artists.