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Florida Governor Unveils Plans To Reopen Schools At 'full Capacity'

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Thursday announced plans to safely reopen schools in the state in full capacity.

He did not specify the reopening date of the schools that were moved to remote learning in March in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Richard Corcoran said data from across the nation and world clearly indicates it is safe to reopen schools in August.

"We have a great opportunity to get back on good footing," DeSantis said. "I know our kids have been in difficult circumstances. ... Getting back to the school year is going to be really really important to the well-being of our kids," DeSantis said at a news conference in Melbourne Thursday.

The reopening plan outlines nearly $475 million in state directed education financial assistance provided to Florida through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In total, more than $2 billion in education-related aid was provided through the CARES Act.

"In Florida, we're taking a smart, safe, step-by-step approach to re-opening, and this extensive data driven plan will ensure Florida students, educators, and families have the confidence and support needed to get students back to the classroom, which will in turn allow parents back into the workforce and allow Florida to hit its economic stride," the governor told reporters.

As per the recommendations, K-12 campus will reopen in June for youth activities and summer camps.

In Step 2, campus capacities will be expanded further for summer recovery instruction in July.

Campuses will open at full capacity for traditional start of the academic year in August.

State colleges, technical colleges and universities will function in full capacity for traditional start of the academic year in Fall Semester.

Education institutions have been advised to create a local safe schools plan to maintain in-person learning.

Recommendations also include student drop-off and pick-up, consider contact tracing protocol, testing protocol, best practices, and considerations for buses.

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