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Palm Beach County superintendent updates parents and staff on COVID-19 protocols

'There's nothing we're going to make mandatory,' Dr. Donald Fennoy say
Dr. Donald Fennoy speaks Dec. 15, 2020
Posted at 2:29 PM, Dec 15, 2020

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Parents of Palm Beach County school students had the opportunity to have their questions answered Tuesday.

"Currently homeschooling? Ready for kindergarten? Exploring education options in Palm Beach County?" a post on the school district's Facebook page said.

In a live Q&A, Palm Beach County School District Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy addressed the questions and concerns of parents.

"It's important for our community to get timely updates because a lot of decisions have to be made," he said.

A discussion tackling topics ranging from rapid testing to student's mental health. It comes as parents make plans for a new year and a new semester.

"Families can still make a choice until the end of the year as it relates to their modality of instruction again either brick and mortar or in person," he said.

Just how children are educated will be in the hands of their parents.

Chris Edwards has already made up his mind where his kid will be.

"I think kids should be back at school five days a week, and I think Palm Beach County has done a fantastic job of displaying that," Edwards said.

Angela Stem is on the other end embracing distance learning.

"I wish they would keep what they are doing. I love this virtual school," she said.

Even with an increase in COVID-19 cases, Fennoy said schools will remain open a governor's executive order calls for it. There's also the question of COVID vaccinations.

"There's nothing we're going to make mandatory," he said. "Vaccinations are still a decision of individual families."

The districts also moving forward with rapid antigen tests. So far, nurses have administered 200 tests only to those who are symptomatic with 8 positive results.

"They're very vigilant they've been very, very cautious of coming in and out," Dalizza Mosquera said.

Fennoy also spoke about a topic of much debate last spring and summer -- graduations. The superintendent said right now they're preparing for traditional graduations at the fairgrounds for the class of 2021.

You have a chance to ask Superintendent Donald Fennoy your questions during a Facebook Live Q&A! Join the conversation at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15, here: facebook.com/pbcsd/live

Posted by The School District of Palm Beach County on Monday, December 14, 2020

The opportunity comes a week after the district began using COVID-19 rapid tests at schools.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last month that schools would remain open for in-person instruction in 2021, although parents will still be able to choose distance learning if they want.