Heard On Sundial: Superintendent Fennoy, Testing In Minority Communities And Surging Bike Sales

May 14, 2020

On this Thursday, May 14, episode of Sundial:

What Will Palm Beach County Schools Look Like In The Fall?

Palm Beach County serves nearly 200,000 students in its public school system. And all of those students have had to adjust to distance learning since the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of schools across South Florida.

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As counties begin phase one of reopening, Palm Beach County being the first this week, many parents and teachers have concerns about what the next school year will look like.

Donald Fennoy, superintendent of the Palm Beach County School District, joined Sundial to discuss some of those concerns.

“What I’m challenging my team to do is to prepare for the worst, which would be an extended period of distance learning and make it world class,” said Fennoy.

He also discussed the possibility of budget cuts, changes in teacher salaries and the constantly changing circumstances the school district is responding to.

Testing In Minority Communities

Residents in minority and rural communities across South Florida have needed to travel farther for COVID-19 testing. Public health experts believe that to be able to reopen the state, a process that has already started, there must be much more extensive testing.

But testing sites in poorer brown and black communities are not easily accessible. There’s evidence to suggest the virus is spreading in already spreading, mostly undetected, in these communities. Public health experts, advocates and non-profits are urging the state to open walk-up testing sites in minority communities.

“Some of these communities are not very trustful of government … so you really have to work with a local partner," said Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare, about partnering up with community leaders to encourage testing.

Bonnet joined Sundial along with Dr. Cheryl Holder, Program Director of Panther College of Medicine at Florida International University, to talk about some of the difficulties these communities face.

Bike Sales Surge In South Florida 

The pandemic has changed how many people in South Florida see outdoor activities. Since stay-at-home orders went into effect, people have started to run, bike and walk more in their neighborhoods.

Bike sales at shops across South Florida have grown dramatically since the start of the pandemic. Some stores are even selling out of their merchandise.

Dane Iseman owns Island Bicycles in Key West and joined Sundial to talk about how his business has changed, and the possibility of a bicycle shortage.