Eblast for March 23, 2020
Miami Palmetto Senior High School PTSA

COVID-19 Spring Break, & Online Learning Updates

The Week of March 23 rd is ‘Spring Break’ and There is No Online Learning:
Note that teachers are not expected to teach and/or give assignments during this week. Last Friday, March 20 th , gradebooks closed for the third 9-weeks. Online learning will resume on Monday, March 30 th . School is closed until at least 4/15.
A master list of Palmetto High teachers, their emails, and the protocol they are using for online learning can be found here
Teacher email addresses can also be found here
General information about public school status and preparedness in regard to COVID-19 is here .
In addition, make sure you follow Miami-Dade County Public School’s social media (see below) for announcements and listen to Connect-Ed phone calls when they are made. Palmetto High PTSA will also continue to give updates as we receive them. 
Miami-Dade Public Schools on Twitter: @MDCPS
Miami-Dade Public Schools on Instagram: miamischools

Florida Department of Education (FDOE) Q&A Guidance (updated 3/19/20):
The purpose of this Q&A document is to provide additional guidance and clarification regarding the Department’s guidance to school districts related to COVID-19 closures. Commissioner Corcoran has made it clear that all decisions are being made with compassion and grace at the forefront.
1. Q: What does it mean to be closed until April 15?
A: Campuses are closed. The expectation is that school districts operate under the CDC’s guidance of limiting groups to 10. Schools are encouraged to operate virtually or through other non-classroom- based means to the greatest extent possible to implement the continuity of instruction plan.
2. Q: What does it mean that school districts should be prepared to expand their school calendars until June 30, 2020?
A: Our goal is to complete the school year on time and on schedule. The reason we said April 15 is because the CDC is giving updates every 15 days. We are monitoring the state and federal guidance regarding COVID-19 containment, and we will remain in close contact with districts while they are implementing their continuity of instruction plans. As we approach April 15, the date students are set to return, additional guidance on distance learning plans will be provided. Current adopted school district calendars vary; some end in May while others end in June. If you are making updates to your calendar, which is a local decision, know that you can extend your calendars as needed through the fiscal year if necessary. Updating calendars and adding additional days is a local decision, and districts may extend their calendars through the end of the fiscal year.
3. Q: What does it mean to provide flexibility for students who receive IEP services?
A: Each student with an IEP, or 504 plan, should be included in the school district’s instructional continuity plan to the same extent as all other students. This plan may include virtual instruction, as well as virtual specialized instruction and related services to the extent practicable. All areas of the student’s IEP or 504 must be considered. Any and all required evaluations, IEP meetings etc. may also be held virtually to the extent practical. If there is any type of delay, the nature and extent of the delay and a plan to move as quickly as possible to prevent further delay should be documented. IEP and 504 teams should monitor each student’s progress and determine what, if any, remediation may be needed upon return to the student’s placement.
· Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak - March 2020
· Fact Sheet Protecting Students’ Civil Rights During COVID-19 Response
Richard Corcoran Commissioner of Education
Andy Tuck, Chair
Marva Johnson, Vice Chair Members
Ben Gibson
Tom Grady
Michael Olenick
Ryan Petty
Joe York
4. Q: How does the cancellation of state assessments impact students?
A: The answer will vary based on students’ placement within their educational journey.
· Current seniors: If a senior is expected to graduate in spring 2020 and has not met the exit criteria for Algebra I EOC and/or Grade 10 ELA FSA, or earned a concordant score, this criteria will be waived. However, students still must earn the necessary credits and meet the GPA requirements to graduate.
· Non-seniors: The Department is waiving the requirement for non-senior students who are currently enrolled in a course that requires an EOC to take the associated EOC. However, non-seniors who have yet to pass the Grade 10 FSA ELA must still meet the exit criteria by passing that assessment during a future administration or earning a concordant score. Though non-senior students enrolled in the EOC course of Algebra 1 are not required to take the Algebra 1 EOC, they must still meet the mathematics assessment graduation requirement by either passing the Algebra 1 EOC (offered four times each year) during a future administration, earning a concordant score, or passing the Geometry EOC during a future administration.
· Grade 3 promotion: Generally, the Grade 3 ELA FSA is a key component districts use to make promotion decisions. Since this data will not be available due to the cancellation of statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year, promotion decisions should be made in consultation with parents, teachers, and school leaders based on the students’ classroom performance and progress monitoring data.
· 30% for final grade: For students currently enrolled in courses that include a statewide EOC to be factored into the student’s grade, this requirement will be waived. Districts have the discretion to determine whether district-developed EOC assessments are necessary for these courses for the 2019-2020 school year.
5. Q: Will parents have the ability to request retention of their child in the current grade for the 2020- 2021 year?
A: Yes, if parents, teachers and school leaders determine it is in the best interest of the student. Parents play an important role in planning for their students’ education. Promotion decisions should be made in consultation with parents, teachers, and school leaders based on the students’ classroom performance and progress monitoring data.
6. Q: Will students receive grades for the spring semester while they are in a distance learning environment?
A: Yes, although campuses are closed, school is still in session and students are still earning grades. Districts will incorporate the process for assigning student grades in their instructional continuity plans.
7. Q: With the cancellation of assessments for the 2019-2020 school year and school/district grades not being calculated, what will my school/district grade be?
A: Schools and districts will not receive a grade. In the 2020-2021 school year, schools will continue their current turnaround status and tier of support from the 2019-2020 school year.
8. Q: Will districts have to submit another turnaround plan to the State Board of Education for approval for the 2020-2021 school year?
A: Schools shall continue to implement their state board approved plan in the 2020-21 school year. Any requested changes to a plan must be submitted to the Bureau of School Improvement for consideration of approval by the State Board of Education

9. Q: Despite the absence of a 2019 school grade, will turnaround schools have to adhere to the same requirements outlined in Rule 6A.1.099811, F.A.C., for the 2020-2021 school year?
A: Districts are required to adhere to the same requirements outlined in Rule 6A.1.099811, F.A.C., for the 2020-2021 school year.
10. Q: Are waivers available for missed instructional hours?
A: Given that the impact of instructional hours missed due to COVID-19 is yet to be determined,
the FDOE is refraining from making any decisions related to missed instructional hours until long-term impacts can be realized. As a reminder, districts do not need the state’s approval to use available calendar days to remain in compliance with the minimum instructional hours required by law.
11. Q: How will the cancellation of national assessment administrations (i.e., SAT and ACT) affect eligibility for Bright Futures?
A: Information regarding Bright Futures will be forthcoming.
12. Q: How do we address students who are scheduled to take AICE, IB, and AP exams?
A: We are working with our partners at AICE, IB, and AP, and information regarding the assessments associated with these programs will be forthcoming.
13. Q: Will there be a reduction to districts’ 2019-2020 allocations?
A: All school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten, K-12, career and technical centers and state college programs will receive their full allocation of 2019-2020 funding.
14. Q: Will there be flexibility in utilizing categorical funds for districts’ 2019-2020 allocations?
A: The Commissioner is affording K-12 school districts the opportunity to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from the Reading Instruction Allocation, the Digital Classroom Allocation and the Teacher Classroom Supply Assistance Program to help low-income students purchase digital devices and establish Internet services. Please note also that Reading Scholarship Accounts funding will have flexibility.
15. Q: Will there be flexibility in utilizing federal program funds to support the implementation of the instructional continuity plans?
A: Yes, districts may direct questions on this topic to Chancellor Eric Hall at (850) 245-7809.
16. Q: How can we support students’ mental wellness in distance learning environments?
A: The Commissioner is affording K-12 school districts the opportunity to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from the Safe Schools and Mental Health allocations to virtual and telephonic mental health counseling services for students who need emotional support due to COVID-19.
17. Q: How should school districts manage school board meeting plans, balancing the need to make critical decisions with the importance of limiting the size of groups to ensure containment of the spread of COVID-19?
A: Boards can meet under the emergency meeting statute as needed, virtually or telephonically, while providing the necessary accommodations to achieve the CDC’s recommendations of mass gatherings being limited to groups of 10 or less.
18. Q: How should districts handle school board meetings?
A: These recommendations are directed at ensuring the safety of all Floridians. All state-level meetings are being conducted virtually, and the best approach is for districts to make every effort to hold meetings virtually. This includes the State Board of Education. In instances where in-person meetings are necessary, Escambia is a great example of a district that has taken innovative steps to conduct official business while adhering to the CDC’s recommendations of gatherings being limited to groups of 10 or less.
19. Q: Can schools still participate in community and extra-curricular activities?
A: Commissioner Corcoran urges adherence to the CDC’s guidance for higher-risk populations by cancelling any mass gatherings, community events and extracurricular activities, including sports of more than 10 people in a single occupied space at any educational program, school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten, public and private K-12, career and technical centers, and public and private colleges.
20. Q: Are there any circumstances under which students may return to a school while campuses are closed in response to COVID-19?
A: Yes, as long as groups are limited to 10 or fewer people, including the educator, in a single occupied space, students may return to campus when continuing operations that, to the greatest extent possible, support remote student learning, including delivery of educational and student services and resources. This includes taking an assessment, such as those related to workforce, adult education, AP, IB, or AICE; or receiving needed instruction or tutoring.
21. Q: During periods of unplanned campus closures, will districts be able to continue with the National School Lunch program?
A: Yes, during the unplanned break, and FDOE has been working directly with the Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness (the Division) at the Florida Department of Agriculture. On March 14, the Division obtained a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide flexibility for school meals during periods of school closure. The decision to continue meal services for students is a local one. However, FDOE is hearing consistently that districts are planning on continuing services, and districts must have their plan for alternative meal delivery approved by the Division in concert with USDA. FDOE will be participating in twice daily calls that the Division is hosting with all school districts’ food service directors. Note, this does not apply to the regularly scheduled Spring Break, because the waiver only applies to unanticipated events. The Summer BreakSpot program has been activated to connect families with alternative school meals during unplanned campus closures. To access this website, please visit  https://www.summerbreakspot.org/ .
22. Q: Can teachers return during the one week extended break to work on the Instructional Continuity Plan?
A: That is a local decision; however, if teachers return during the one week extended break, this may impact the ability to make up lost instructional time. Please review your local instructional calendar to determine if professional development (PD) or planning days can be reallocated. Once the district has developed its Instructional Continuity Plan, teachers are expected to play a role in the implementation of the plan.
23. Q: Should 12 month employees continue working during the one week extended break? A: This is a local decision.
24. Q: Will this affect students in dual enrollment courses that are continuing at their Florida College System (FCS) institution while districts and schools are in periods of unplanned campus closure? A: Colleges are working to adjust their schedules and course delivery methods to respond to COVID- 19. The district’s and FCS institution’s dual enrollment coordinators should work together to ensure that students have the opportunity to complete their coursework within the semester timeframe.
25. Q: How will period of unplanned campus closures impact graduation ceremonies?
A: Graduation ceremonies typically begin in May, and we will provide additional guidance later.
26. Q: Do you have any guidance on the handling of student data during the COVID-19 response and our efforts to ensure the education of students continues?
A: The U.S. DOE recently published guidance to help state and local educational agencies to ensure compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). See:  http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/19861/urlt/FERPACoronavirusFAQ.pdf  and we will make our If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our General Counsel, Matt Mears, at  Matthew.Mears@fldoe.org
27. Q: How will teacher evaluations be impacted by the COVID-19 response?
A: For the 2019-2020 school year, statewide assessments have been cancelled. This cancellation will impact the ability to calculate Florida’s Value-Added Model (VAM) as well as provide statewide data that many districts use to calculate the student performance component of some annual teacher evaluations. For teachers who have not had their classroom observation completed, the implementation of instructional continuity plans may make meeting the observation requirement difficult to achieve. As a result, annual evaluations required under section 1012.34, F.S. are waived for the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, because teachers on annual contract who are on the performance salary schedule will not have evaluation results on which to base annual increases, the provisions in 1012.22, F.S. related to this requirement are waived. This gives districts the flexibility to determine how they will calculate a teachers annual salary increases locally. The determination of how districts meet the differentiated pay component will be determined locally.
28. Q: What steps are being taken to help teachers who are unable to complete testing requirements for teacher certification?
A: Given the current hardships that teachers, teacher candidates, and their families are facing related to COVID-19 crisis, Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran have committed to provide opportunities for anyone to meet all testing requirements for teacher certification, including General Knowledge, Professional Education and Subject Area Examinations, OR to retake examinations not previously passed, all free of charge. Effective through July 31, 2020, anyone wishing to take or retake any of the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations will have the opportunity to take any such tests free of charge. Furthermore, the deadlines to take these tests will be tolled through July 31, 2020.
29. Q: What additional measures are available to ensure that school readiness and voluntary prekindergarten providers can be fully funded through this crisis?
A: With guidance from the Department’s Office of Early Learning, early learning coalitions are authorized to mitigate financial impacts by paying for additional child absences while providers are open, reimbursing providers during temporary closures related to the COVID-19 emergency, and extending timelines for provider improvement plans, reports and VPK instructional calendar
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Online Learning (Updated 3/19/20):

M-DCPS/WLRN Online Learning Opportunity (PK-12 th ):
As Florida districts close schools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) and WLRN Public Media (WLRN) announce the launch of At-Home Learning, a new educational programming schedule that complements the school district’s distance learning plan. The new weekday television schedule will begin airing on Monday, March 30th, 2020 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At-Home Learning, free and accessible from any television, delivers age-appropriate educational programs through a familiar medium that supports the Instructional Continuity Plan (ICP). The ICP, developed by M-DCPS and unveiled March 16, 2020, provides students and teachers with an engaging and content-rich distance learning framework. The new schedule includes specific blocks of time for Pre-K through 12th grade levels and cover subjects including English language arts, social studies, science and math. Program modifications will take place throughout the duration of school closures and will address a wide variety of content areas. Educators and parents will have access to supplemental lesson plans and curriculum materials to facilitate meaningful use of the content via PBS Learning Media. 
“We cannot allow these unfortunate circumstances to set our children back,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “This new WLRN-TV programming schedule provides students with yet another educational resource while they are away from school and aligns with the measures the district has already taken to ensure our brilliant students continue to succeed.”

WLRN Public Television (WLRN-TV) is a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) member station licensed to the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida. WLRN - TV reaches a viewing audience in four South Florida counties, from Palm Beach to Key West.
“WLRN-TV has delivered award-winning educational PBS programming for our youngest viewers for decades and now, during these challenging times, we can play a critical role in providing trusted and aligned educational resources for students, parents, teachers and caregivers,” said John Labonia, WLRN General Manager. “This special educational programming and PBS Learning Media are extraordinary tools that are easy to access from home and are being made available as a free service from Florida’s public media.”
WLRN-TV’s At-Home Learning schedule consists of the following age-appropriate programming blocks:
Pre-K - 3rd grade from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
4th – 8th grades from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
9th - 12th grades from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Visit  www.wlrn.org/athomelearning  for more information about the modified broadcast schedule and available online resources.
Comcast Internet Offer:
Meal Distribution for Students and Families:
During the first week of school closures, M-DCPS food service personnel distributed more than 200,000 hot to-go meals from all school sites.
During Spring Recess, the District has worked with non-profit organizations Farm Share, Feeding South Florida, and Share Your Heart to facilitate community feedings for the week. Links to the organizations’ calendars and distribution sites may be found at  covid19.dadeschools.net .
Beginning March 30, grab-and-go meals will continue to be distributed at 31 schools across the district, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. These hours were chosen so as not to disrupt distance learning. The list of food distribution sites will be posted on the district’s COVID-19 website  in the coming days.
Testing Updates:
Please be aware that many upcoming tests are being canceled. Stay informed:
Message from Mr. Nerenberg:

I can answer any questions about college applications for next year or if any one has an issue with admissions for next year - I am available via email. If they need to talk I will be available on an as needed basis. I am still in contact with the colleges more than ever. Stay in contact on Edmodo (codes below), and on Facebook under Scholarships for Parents at Palmetto. 
Stay well..
warmest regards, 
Harry Nerenberg College Counselor
Miami Palmetto Senior High
Follow me on Edmodo
Class of 2020 38nuvu
Class of 2021 gyyyp6
Class of 2023 and 2022 code is 8cbq1d
join me on Facebook  
Spammers Alert!!
WARNING! Spammers are already at it. Please know that PTSA will NEVER contact you and ask for money or gift cards. In this case, they are now asking for money for COVID-19 support for people in need. WE WILL NEVER ASK THIS. Don't fall for it!
March 23-27: No Online Learning (Spring Break)
April 1: PTSA Nominating Committee's 2020-21 Proposed Slate Announced
April 23: General PTSA Mtg & Elections - 6:30 PM - Palmetto High School
April 24: Prom
April 30: Last Day to Purchase a Yearbook Online
May 6-10: Teacher Appreciation Week
2020 Census Info (yes, it’s mandatory and important to participate):
You might have received a letter from the Census Bureau this week with instructions as to how to complete the census online. It is mandatory for every household to complete it. More information below.
Yearbook News:
Click here (link to https://www.balfour.com/student-info?smi=15248 ) to purchase yours today!
The Palm Echo Staff
Stay Informed:
Wonderful things are happening behind the scenes amongst our Panther family, including incredible college admissions and bonding (!) times at home. Let’s share some positive vibes with the community. Have something to share? Send it to Katie Abbott at KatieLAbbott@comcast.net .
H ave Something You Want to Share?
If there is something you would like to share in the MPSH weekly e-blast, please email KatieLAbbott@comcast.net by the end of the school day every Friday.
Click Here to donate to Miami Palmetto PTSA (thank you!!!)
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