What Will School Reopening Look Like This Fall?

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What can families expect when school starts again?

Key takeaways:*

  • Broward and Miami-Dade counties plan to offer in-person learning five days a week.
  • There will be no remote or hybrid learning options in Broward or Miami-Dade.
  • There is no Florida vaccine mandate in order to attend school.
  • Broward schools have yet to announce guidelines regarding masks.
  • The Learning Lab offers support for students with reading/writing/math deficiencies and learning differences like dyslexia and ADHD.
  • We offer in-person tutoring, remote learning programs, and academic software for students in all grades. 

There’s no question the pandemic disrupted our society in 2020, particularly when it came to schools. The 2019-2020 school year had countless students, teachers, and parents adapting to a remote learning model. 

The 2020-2021 school year came with even more changes, with some students returning to the classroom while others stayed with a remote model. Some districts also had hybrid schedules, with students going to school on certain days and learning from home on others. 

Now, the question is what will happen when school starts again for the 2021-2022 school year? What will this academic year bring for your child or teen? We answer these questions with the information we currently know. 

Will there be in-person learning?

The answer will probably come down to where you live. As of now, it seems likely that schools in Broward County will offer in-class instruction five days a week. The same goes for schools in Miami-Dade. Florida was one of four states (along with Arkansas, Iowa, and Texas) that required in-person instruction for all grades last year, although students were allowed to attend school remotely if they chose. 

This year, Broward County schools plan to reopen on Wednesday, August 18th. The first day in Miami-Dade County will be Monday, August 23rd

Broward County plans to go with 100% traditional, in-person learning with no option for hybrid or remote learning. Students who want a virtual option will need to access the Broward Virtual School portal which has been in operation for over 20 years. 

However, as we face a new surge of COVID cases – attributed to the delta variant – it’s not difficult to imagine a change in some plans. Public health officials and school administrators may come to different conclusions by the time schools reopen. Schools might also need to adhere to new local, state, or federal guidelines. 

Vaccinations and children

As of now, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children 12 and older while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only approved for those 18 and older. What’s behind the delay?

“Children’s immune systems are very different from adults,’ and their immune responses can be different at different ages, from infancy through the teenage years. So the research that’s been done on the COVID-19 vaccine for older ages needs to be repeated in children of younger ages,” according to Connecticut Children’s Hospital

Florida recently passed a bill making it illegal for school officials to demand proof of a COVID vaccine for students. 

Will students be required to wear masks?

There has been no firm answer as to whether South Florida schools will require students and teachers to wear masks, whether they’re vaccinated or not. The Miami-Dade superintendent has said that he may recommend that masks be optional for 2021-2022, with Palm Beach County taking a similar stance. Broward County has not made any formal announcement, although last year they allowed students to remove masks outside. 

Some districts may be waiting to see the most up-to-date numbers on infection rates and the severity of new COVID variants. 

What if your child has fallen behind or needs extra help?

As a result of the upheaval over the last two school years, many students have fallen behind academically. Perhaps your child has struggled to retain lessons or needs extra help in certain subjects? Does your child have a learning difference that has been tested more than normal because of the pandemic? 

The Learning Lab is here to offer support and academic aids for children with learning differences like dyslexia and ADHD. We also offer support for children who may need extra attention in subjects like reading, writing, and math. 

We are a safe place that helps rebuild your child’s confidence. Our goal is to prepare your child for a lifetime of learning while helping him/her close academic gaps. 

The Learning Lab programs

One-on-One and Small Group Homework Lab

Along with academic support, our Homework Lab is designed to teach your child “executive functioning” skills that include time management, planning, and organization. We can also work with your child’s teachers and school to help support lessons he/she learned in the classroom

What we do:

  • Reteach challenging material
  • Organization, focus, and executive functioning coaching
  • Test prep and study skills
  • Individualized homework management 
I3 Lab support

Our I3 Lab offers academic intervention for children that are academically behind grade level and struggle to keep up with grade level expectations.

The I3 Lab is designed for children with learning differences that cause them to fall behind grade level in writing, reading, and math. Every child who takes part in the I3 Lab must go through a thorough screening process to determine areas of weakness and causes for academic struggles. The appropriate evidence-based curriculum and protocol is then chosen based on the data from the screening with intent to help your child close learning gaps in those specific areas. 

Reading/writing curriculum:

  • Barton Reading and Spelling System©
  • Fast ForWord®
  • Foundation in Sounds™
  • IEW© (Institute for Excellence in Writing) 
  • Reading Assistant Plus™
  • Seeing Stars®
  • Visualizing and Verbalizing Multi-Sensory Language-Based Programming®
  • Wilson Just Words® (4th grade+)
  • Winston Grammar©

Math curriculum:

  • DreamBox Math©
  • Math Remediation using multi-sensory instruction
  • TouchMath©
Academic software

We offer adaptive and intuitive reading software that uses a brain-based approach to help students with dyslexia and ADHD catch up and master reading and writing skills. Our main focus is on helping students build critical cognitive skills, including: focus, attention, memory, processing, and sequencing.

Help students build…

  • Grammar
  • Phonemic awareness 
  • Phonics 
  • Reading comprehension and fluency
  • Semantics and mechanics
  • Vocabulary

Look to The Learning Lab for academic support

If your child needs extra help, The Learning Lab is here. We offer in-person tutoring and virtual learning tools to help children catch up if they’ve fallen behind or to learn new material as the school year gets underway. No matter your child’s needs, you can find help here in South Florida. 

The Learning Lab recently expanded our Davie location to provide enhanced learning support to families throughout Broward County, including Davie, Cooper City, Plantation, and Fort Lauderdale. 

Contact us today for more information.

*Note that counties may change policies based on new guidance from health officials, local/state/federal officials, and district school superintendents. 

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