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Palm Beach County parents confused, concerned about return to brick-and-mortar schools

Schools will reopen 'at some point' between Sept. 14 and 21, county mayor says
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Posted at 3:32 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 17:56:05-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — When will brick-and-mortar schools in Palm Beach County officially reopen?

That's the question on the minds of countless parents and students.

On Friday, Mayor Dave Kerner said schools will reopen "at some point" between Sept. 14 and 21.

The School District of Palm Beach County is urging parents to choose as soon as possible whether they'll send their children back to brick-and-mortar schools once they open, or continue keeping them at home for distance learning.

But many parents said they can't make that choice with little to no information on what back to school looks like.

Trying to keep her second grader in his seat for a full day of online learning has been challenging for Ashley Baroncelli.

"Every five-minute break he gets and lunch he is driving around my kitchen table on his little scooter because he is so bored," Baroncelli said. "And what did you learn today? I don't know."

Baroncelli said her kids had a rough start to online learning this week. But after swapping out laptops at their Greenacres school, they hit the ground running.

Now Baroncelli is facing a difficult choice. Are her children ready to go back to in-classroom instruction later this month?

"He needs to be taught one-on-one," Baroncelli said. "My daughter needs to be taught one-on-one, and there's no point in going back to school if they're still going to continue working on a laptop."

The school district said that depending on the number of students returning to each school, some schools may still have students doing online learning in overflow classrooms or gymnasiums.

The district said if you choose distance learning and change your mind when schools reopen, it could take up to a week for your child to get to return. The change from in-classroom to online learning can be made overnight, however.

To make your choice, click here.

Baroncelli said, so far, she's chosen for her second and fourth graders to return to in-classroom instruction, but still doesn't know if that's her final decision.

"I need answers to figure out what's going to be the best decision," Baroncelli said. "Cause as of now, nothing is the best decision."