Late last week, DOE Commissioner Richard Corcoran released Emergency Order 2021-EO-02 giving school districts much-needed flexibility when it comes to testing used this year for promotion and graduation.
I am incredibly grateful for the leadership of Commissioner Corcoran and Governor DeSantis during this pandemic and for their emphasis on ensuring that the needs of our students remain at the forefront of our conversations, executive actions, legislation and planning for the future. I thought recovering from Hurricane Michael was the most difficult challenge I would be faced with as your Superintendent but the pandemic proved me wrong. Making sure we do everything possible to focus on the safety of our students, our staff and our families, while also trying to keep students focused academically, has been a monumental challenge for us all. I must say, however, that I am so proud of the way our entire community responded to this challenge and I’ll be eternally grateful for the immense sacrifices of our employees who have been determined to keep school going despite numerous obstacles.
Every day I get dozens of calls and emails from companies offering to “help” us reopen school and they are always quite surprised to hear that we’ve been in school since August and that, as you can see from our website, our Covid numbers have been extremely low thanks to the diligence of our students and staff and the support of our families.
We may not all agree on masks or vaccines but I’ve been so grateful for the community’s support and the appreciation our employees have felt, and continue to feel, as we finish out this very strange school year. We were #850Strong after Hurricane Michael decimated our community and we’ve managed to dig even deeper to come together in new and creative ways (while social distancing of course) as a result of Covid-19. I am so proud to call Bay County my home.
While the entire order from Commission Corcoran is quite lengthy, and can be read in its entirety on the DOE website at http://www.fldoe.org/em-response/, I thought it might be helpful if I summarized some of the most important points:
Please review the links to the documentation of this order below in the links provided.
DOE Emergency Order