More Details Emerge On Reopening Florida Universities

Jun 4, 2020
University of Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- A week after the state university system’s Board of Governors laid out a blueprint for how to reopen campuses in the fall, school officials are offering more details about what will change when students and faculty members come back.

The 12 state universities continue to work on plans, which they are supposed to present June 23 to the Board of Governors. The plans will flesh out details about issues such as student housing, academics, health protocols and athletics.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

TALLAHASSEE — A circuit judge on Wednesday refused to toss out a lawsuit alleging that a state school-safety commission created after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School violated an open-government law.

Courtesy of Diana Haneski / WLRN

Sometimes cute, sometimes irritating — it might be a familiar occurrence at this point: A dog barks in the background of a video conference.

In this case, though, it's definitely cute, because the dog is River, a fluffy Bernedoodle who's certified in canine therapy. And her owner is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's librarian.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Florida’s largest teachers union wants to suspend state exams and evaluations of school and teacher performance as part of a larger plan for how to reopen schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Nancy Klingener

A graduation, but with students retrieving their diplomas atop jet skis. An a capella choral concert, but with each voice recorded as a solo and stitched together into a viral video. An "emotional" award ceremony honoring the top high school seniors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but convened on Zoom and broadcast on YouTube. The conclusion of a 30-year career, but with a retiring teacher sitting alone in an empty, quiet classroom.

These are the strange, sad, creative, uplifting and inspiring ways South Floridians are marking the end of a school year like no other.

Miami Herald

Students at Florida’s 12 public universities could be returning to campus this fall, according to a new plan approved by the Florida Board of Governors. The universities will use the blueprint to develop individual reopening plans following shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

Columbia, Brown, Penn, Purdue — universities with hallowed traditions, proud alumni and another thing in common: Right now they're being sued by disgruntled students.

The students claim that when campuses shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, they should have been entitled to more of their money back. And the list of institutions facing such challenges is growing, including private institutions and entire public systems in California, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

University System Leaders Approve Blueprint For Reopening

May 28, 2020
Barbara P. Hernandez / Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE --- The Florida university system’s governing board on Thursday approved a broad blueprint for how to reopen campuses in the fall, which will help schools as they work to finalize their individual plans over the next two weeks. 

State university system Chancellor Marshall Criser told the Board of Governors that each university will have the flexibility to determine crucial details, including which individuals will need to be tested for COVID-19, rules for the use of face masks, and alternatives for students and faculty who may be at high risk of getting sick.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

A group of seven students sit surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the afternoon sunlight illuminating a darker discussion about a 1937 massacre that left thousands of Haitians dead along the country’s border with the Dominican Republic.

Preschool teacher Lainy Morse has been out of work for more than two months. But the Portland, Ore., child care center where she worked is considering a reopening. Morse says she is dreading the idea, as much as she loves the infants and toddlers for which she cared.

"They always have snotty faces. It's just one cold after another," she says. "It feels just like an epicenter for spreading disease. And it feels really scary to go back to that."

Austin Beutner looked haggard, his face a curtain of worry lines. The superintendent of the second-largest school district in the nation sat at a desk last week delivering a video address to Los Angeles families. But he began with a stark message clearly meant for another audience:

Lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.