WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The superintendent of Palm Beach County schools released an empathetic message to teachers, parents and children to address concerns about the upcoming school year.
Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy posted the letter on Twitter just after 5 p.m.
Fennoy's message comes a day after the Palm Beach County School Board voted unanimously to begin the school year with virtual learning. However, a start date is still uncertain.
He said the board would work to approve a start date during their next meeting on July 22 before the county's reopening plan is sent to the Florida Department of Education for approval.
"I am in agreement with the District’s Health Advisory Committee which emphasizes that reopening plans must be driven by safety and science. Our decisions are also driven by data, research, and community input," Fennoy said in the letter.
The superintendent's message acknowledged that this upcoming school year contains many uncertainties but "we must ALL empower our children."
"I give you my word that virtual learning in the fall will be much more robust and efficient than it was in the spring when our District, and districts throughout the country, were unexpectedly thrust into remote instruction," Fennoy said.
He reached out to working parents concerned about the virtual learning plan and asked business leaders to be flexible with their employees.
"My hope is that (businesses) will allow those of you who can work remotely to do so, or that they will provide areas for child care at the office," said Fennoy. "If you are a stay-at-home parent, I encourage you to consider inviting the child of a working neighbor into your home to take part in distance learning."
The superintendent said how and when schools should begin has been a divisive issue, but "everyone has one thing in common -- they are passionate about our children and the future of education in Palm Beach County."
Today I shared the following letter with @pbcsd parents and staff and I am now sharing it with the entire community because we are all in this together. Read the letter here: https://t.co/KM8Ai8ZV9L— Donald E. Fennoy II (@SuptFennoy) July 16, 2020
Thank you for your support of the School District of Palm Beach County. pic.twitter.com/U78pb45xb3