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LIVE: The Duval School Board meeting is kicking off and it's a loaded agenda. You can follow along for yourself here:
Jones says cost to change all school names would be between $700,000-$1 million. Thanks @JaxPEF for establishing the community fund. More on that:…
Ashley Smith-Juarez said she submitted a letter today to the board asking to add 3 more schools to be considered for renaming. The discussion would happen in Aug. Schools Smith-Juarez want considered are Andrew Jackson and Jean Ribault middle and high to reflect district's values
Greene addresses the board now to recap Corcoran's emergency order. More on that:…
This is going fast but the TLDR so far is Supt. Diana Greene seems confident that the school district's existing plan already addressed most of Corocoran's order EXCEPT for the five days per week piece.
Greene: "We have to submit a plan if we’re doing anything other than opening our schools 5 days a week & offering a virtual option for families ... Even if we were to offer a unique hybrid situation, every school still has to be available to be open 5 days a week."
Greene offers to entertain questions, but adds "I also need to preface this with, I’m very comfortable with saying I don’t have the answers at this point."
Darryl Willie asks about start date piece. "does this make us think about altering our calendar to give us room to make the proper arrangements to start efficiently?"

Greene: "we are prepared to pivot," but voices concern about impacting teacher pay.
Greene: "there's a little bit of confusion, I believe that we will be required to open school, offer it 180 days and be open five days a week."
Willie says he knows there won't be a lot of answers tonight but says teachers are telling him they're concerned about teaching dueling lesson plans — both in person & virtual. Greene said they're working on it.
Charlotte Joyce asks what this means for hybrid models.
Greene: "it has the capability of something like a hybrid but the bottom line is we have to make sure we’re offering brick and mortar five days a week."
.@andersen4dcps asks about FDOE's turnaround time for approving plans.

Greene: "we do not know. However we believe that the plans that we are working as a team are in alignment ... and feel like we'll be ready for the first day of school."
.@andersen4dcps clarifies: It sounds to me like the most important piece is that we need to add in an additional option for five days of school?

Greene says it's more complicated than that...
Greene: we can't use that option. The reason we can't use that is that was the option for all students. It would only be a workable option if all students took off the same day.

Said they're working on another option to retain hybrid capability for those not comfortable 👀
.@andersen4dcps says it's inevitable that at some point a school will have to close bc of a virus transmission. Says if school is closed or teacher doesn't work 180 days, asks if they'll still get paid for contract time.
Greene says yes, if school closes, moves to Duval HomeRoom
Joyce asks how population counts will impact funding and surplus next school year.

Greene: that is why we are developing the possibility of another option. Our thinking was DVIA would be used but not to that magnitude. Said order changes "our entire framework of hybrid."
On teacher counts: "We will have to work through that. We'll have to have the capability for five days a week and I believe that will be a challenge. We will have to work through that issue as we work to open school in about a month."
Greene closes her report with good news — DCPS and EmTec earned the 2020 Commissioner’s Business
Recognition Award for the partnership that pays students to reformat school tech. More on that by former TU intern @angdimi:…
And now, for.... PUBLIC COMMENT
Jones: "there are approx. 200 emails meeting the criteria for public comment."

They cover both reopening schools and renaming schools. Jones said meeting might have to go past 11p tonight and extend into tomorrow AM.

Asking for motion to suspend rules & break comment into 2
So if the board votes yes, they'll read the comments RE: school reopening now & continue w/ meeting. Then end with second comment, and if it extends continue with reopening schools comments tomorrow.

Joyce said no, that a lot of people want their comments read tonight.
Vote has not happened yet, but Joyce voices that she would not be in favor and all comments should be read now.
.@andersen4dcps said she wants to clarify to Member Joyce that all the comments will be heard. Vote would just rearrange the order. Joyce said she understands that and asks if it's normal practice.

Karen Chastain: "we haven't had the volume [of comments] we've had tonight."
Joyce asks how many public comment emails deal with reopening of schools. Jones said majority of the comments are about reopening schools. Approx. 133 of them.
Me realizing we're an hour into this meeting and the board is still discussing voting on how they'll hear the public comments...
Motion approved to split public hearing 6-0 (including Joyce who voted yes).

We are now in public comments.
Public comment kicks off with Darlene Miller, a local public ed advocate, asking for support for students with special needs. References special needs students who won't wear masks but can't do virtual schooling bc of parental constraints. What happens to them, she asks?
Second comment: "even if we return to school for just a couple days a week, we are still endangering students, faculty and staff." Requests a FT Duval HomeRoom option for K-12.
A mother of a 9th grade & 4th grade DCPS student / wife to a medical doctor's comment is up. She says it's safer for kids to stay home and learn online.
Public comment from William Hudson cites USA TODAY/IPSO poll that says 1 in 5 teachers don't plan to return. Says virus numbers are worse than when schools first closed. Here's the poll he's referencing:…
Hudson writes that "We know how many students forget to bring a pencil each day. How many will forget a mask?"
A parent of two girls in 1st and 6th grade say they want virtual school until a vaccine is available.
Another comment said the current DCPS reopening plan doesn't consider teacher and staff well being. Adds that masks should be mandated.
This public comment is asking for transparency from schools and neighborhoods on virus transmissions as well as hospitalization records as applicable.
What's wild about this, is these 100+ emails were sent ahead of the new state order. While some districts (like Broward) are doubling down on refusing to return in person, Greene has said multiple times that 5 days/wk will be necessary to be compliant.
Longtime PE teacher Estrella Baileigh (sp?) said she loves her job & wants to return, but knows teachers & staff may not survive COVID-19 transmission. She cares for high risk family & has high risk medical conditions herself. Says she's too young to retire. She asks for virtual.
A commenter is referencing my story(!!) which said that Duval Virtual Instruction Academy currently has no openings for teacher positions. Said teachers shouldn't have to choose between their life and their job. Here's that story:…
An ICU nurse's comment is read. They say six-feet space is not enough and droplets can stay in air for over an hour. Says masks are vital + as much outdoor learning as possible.
Parent writes to ask why all grade levels aren't offered Duval HomeRoom. Says other school districts are making it more unilateral and asks for the same.
"When I get COVID, I hope that I will not be expected to deliver substitute lesson plans when I am sick," a current teacher wrote. They ask for mandated masks, "do not put in on me to enforce this."
A new comment says the COVID-19 transmissions were much lower during the school district's May survey and have since skyrocketed (this is true, we've covered this!). Says they want Duval HomeRoom fulltime option to honor students' magnet school programming.
.@johnmeeks1974 submits a lengthy request listicle (Top 5 Concerns) with points ranging from custodial staff necessities to 1:1 student to laptop distribution (currently they're by household, which he argues isn't enough for germ transmission). *feel free to reply w/ your comment
I should add if you've submitted a public comment, feel free to paste it in this thread for when people unroll 🧻 the thread later 🧵
This teacher being quoted right now suggests putting the plexiglas partitions in front of the teachers' desks instead of individual student desks. Recognizes that school is a haven for so many students but wants more precautions in place.
MANY parents are referencing how FT Duval HomeRoom isn't offered to each grade level and that FLVS/DVIA do not accommodate schools' IB and magnet programs. They're asking for a FT Duval HomeRoom option for all grade levels for vulnerable households unable to return in-person.
Multiple teachers and parents have raised concerns about Duval HomeRoom not being offered across the board, forcing students to do DVIA or FLVS.

Current note points out how not only does this impact magnet students losing out on their lottery place in school, but hurts funding.
Current comment asked how cleaning will go and who's responsible — something that hasn't been clarified yet.

Also brings up the RNC & asks for school year to start after Labor Day. Worth noting this would impact teachers' pay.
A public comment says Duval HomeRoom should be offered across the board. References the 11-year-old in Miami that died from COVID-19 days ago. More on that:…
A commenter references a "politically compromised mayor" and said mask mandates have to happen, especially since the virus disproportionately affects the Black community. They say not requiring masks further contributes to systemic racism.
More on the coronavirus' racial inequality:…
I have no clue what # comment we're on at this point & my print deadline came and went a while ago, but the nuts & bolts will be in tomorrow's paper! I'm still sticking it out for online reporting. If you leave Twitter because you live a normal life, u know where to find updates.
At some point, when the school reopening portion of public comment concludes, the school board will move onto a lofty agenda which includes faculty/staff reappointments and reassignments. It includes 30 principal reassignments. Here's that list:…
Wow, one of the comments asked how social distancing precautions at in-person school will impact Code Red lockdowns.
Many teachers are using the phrase "blessing in disguise" about Duval HomeRoom, saying it allowed them to teach daily but care for their families and stay safe.
OOF. This comment is calling out the fact that the school board is meeting via Zoom to discuss in-person schooling, calling it "inconsiderate."

Also asks for magnet waiver so students can keep their magnet seat if they school virtually for a year or for FT Duval HomeRoom option
"The CDC has given us a roadmap. It would be negligent not to follow it," this commenter said. They note containment and mitigation frameworks including mask mandates and staying home until the virus numbers are decreasing, not increasing. They close asking for FT Duval HomeRoom.
A parent with multiple kids is writing in. They're in different grade levels and some have preexisting conditions. The high school student is a magnet student. They want a HomeRoom option. Also asking to look out for teachers who don't have option to work from home.
This is interesting, this parent suggests using Wellness Wednesday as a way to compensate for social interaction time students might miss out on with virtual school. Said they know their child misses the social aspect of school, but acknowledges that it's safer.
For those unfamiliar, more on Wellness Wednesday:…
Another comment asking for a virtual learning option that doesn't sacrifice a student's magnet seat. That's a big one tonight.
A teacher comment credits some of their questions to fellow teacher and activist, @ChrisinJax1 (whose comment was also read tn). It asks how teacher sick time will work since quarantine is 14 days and teachers get 10. More of Guerrieri's questions here:…
We got our first herd immunity comment of the night. Should've made a bingo card, tbh. Here's why that's not a thing:……
This teacher's comment says they cannot clean and teach without something suffering. Says their school has two custodians for 600 students and that virtual is the best route.
This commenter says without an "easy hybrid option, parents are encouraged to send their students to school sick." Says if one student's school has to undergo quarantine, it could force a sibling to take an extended absence & miss schoolwork.
This comment is referencing school maintenance needs! Says "by the district's own admission" school A/C systems break & need millions in repairs. Asks how that will play into airflow for a virus that is largely impacted by it.
More on A/C & maintenance issues:…
Lots of faculty and parents asking about how much classroom cleaning teachers will need to do upon return.
"Teachers have been asked to stand between gunman and students ... now we are being asked to put our lives on the line ... most of us are happy to do it," says they're asking for the tools and a mask mandate to make it safe for everyone.
Another teacher comment: asks if days waiting for test results are covered by paid leave. Also asks if Core subject teachers vs electives plans will differ.

That's something the district hasn't provided guidance on yet. The existing plan addressed core classes.
A very personal public comment. Two parents in the medical industry (one working ICU). Their son, a gay theater student at DA, doesn't want to lose his magnet seat — but understands the risk of going to school in person. They're pleading for a FT Duval HomeRoom option for HS.
Another comment points out the irony that a virtual meeting is being held to discuss in-person schooling.
This teacher commenter says they're OK with returning to the classroom — so long as masks are required. References CDC guidelines.
Yikes, this teacher said their temperature was taken to enter the school with the thermometer pressed to each teacher's forehead and wiping it with a dry paper towel in between. They ask for those administering temp checks to be trained.
"Teachers will end up being nurses and janitors and that is not fair," public commenter said. They asked what happens when a student sneezes on one of the partitions.
Willie, Joyce, Andersen and Jones remain on video.

Hershey was on video earlier, unclear if she's still on the line with her camera off or off the call entirely. Smith-Juarez was on via audio earlier, assuming she's still on the line but also unclear.
Eep, as I sent this Andersen shut her video off.
Y'all we're almost done with the reopening school public comments! It only took *checks notes* four hours! Meeting will proceed to.. section 10 of a... *checks again* 20 part meeting with multiple subsections (not counting the second public comment) 🙂
Andersen and Hershey have returned via video.

A commenter asks about repercussions for not wearing a mask.
Kudos to the reading team, this portion of public comment is done. Jones asks if anyone needs a break, no one wants one. They're proceeding to Item XIII. Approval of Minutes.
XIV. Approval of Consent Agenda is approved.
We're onto XV. Consent Agenda which has ~30 items. A lot of this stuff has been previously discussed in workshop, so board will probably fly through it pretty quick. Here's a copy of the agenda if you're following:…
As a reminder, there are still an additional ~60-something public comments that will have to be read at some point either tonight or tomorrow morning depending on how long the meeting goes and what the board wants to do. They mostly deal with the school renaming stuff.
We're on item 16. WAIVER OF SECTION III, E.5. OF SCHOOL BOARD POLICY 5.22, STUDENT TRANSFER POLICY: it addresses a waiver for grade 7-12 students being able to keep a seat at their current school if they opt into Duval Virtual Instruction Academy during the pandemic.
More details on that:…

@andersen4dcps asks how it will affect staffing at schools. Greene says it really depends on the number of students opting to go virtual.
RE: the waiver, Andersen asks Greene if the district knows when it will ask parents for input. Greene said goal was July 10. Said Corcoran's order put wrench in things but goal is still July 10 to have something out for parents.
Willie asked if waiver will help with new plan, to accommodate with special programs like IB and AICE.

Greene said the district is meeting w/ principals at schools w/ special programs to create something that supports what those students need online. admits it'll be challenging
"Even when we come up w/ a new plan, there will be areas we'll not be able to accommodate. We'll do our best. We call them singletons. It'd be very challenging to offer them. HS is our number one challenge .. they all have singletons & unique scheduling. It's not just magnets."
We're onto XV. Consent Agenda Part B if you're following along.
We're onto public comments Pt. II, which is addressing school renaming. The majority of comments so far are from Lee alumni from the 50s/60s, so far. Some of the comments are.... icky. There's been a line about picking cotton and one calling Lee, the slaver, an "honorable man."
Some context on why places are opting to rename things named after Lee:…
Another commenter recommends a piece from The Atlantic to board members. This is the piece they're referencing:…
"We need to break the chain right here and right now," a comment says in favor of the name changes.

In contrast, an 80-y/o Lee c/o '58 graduate calls Lee "an imperfect man," asks not to change the school's name. "I went to Robert E. Lee HS. Please don't take that away from me."
A new commenter is calling the renaming push "mass hysteria."
C/o 66 and 67 couple call themselves "true generals." Say that Black students love the school and its history.
School board members listening to this public comment discussing how slave owners were fine people and if they were so bad, we would've heard more about it all.
Majority, if not all public comments regarding school name changing — which is not on tonight's agenda — are from Lee graduates from 50s and 60s. Earlier tonight @TravisDgibson noted that a group of Lee grads gathered for the meeting (even though it's being hosted virtually)
I linked it way, way, way earlier tonight (lol five hours ago) but here's some context on the potential name changes:…
A comment in support of the name changes from a Lee alumnus says it's embarrassing to say the name of their former high school and that their history classes "whitewashed the truth" about systemic racism.
A c/o 72 comment: "My vote is against name change. [that concludes this comment.]"

Followed by another comment in opposition saying it will "diminish" the school's meaning in the community.
A Lee c/o 95 alumnus who was a former Miss Lee says she doesn't want the name to change, but said she'll "respect a decision made for the good of the community."
"History is not there for you to like or dislike," another graduate wrote. "We deserve better than you making a name change." - Lee graduate
An alumnus said "the name was OK in [19]28," which is an argument I haven't heard yet tonight.

Asks for funding to go toward counseling and resources for students instead of a name change. At last meeting, school board member Joyce made a similar comment (see in linked story)
Jones asked how many comments are left to be read. It's about 30. They're voting to extend meeting to tomorrow AM.
Six hours later, the meeting will recess and reconvene tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to finish the agenda (i.e. reading comments and board member For The Record portion).
Your cliff notes:

- How FLDOE's executive order impacts Duval Schools w/ some input from tonight's meeting:…

- Approved: 30 principals are reassigned for the incoming school year. School district said COVID had no impact:…
I've added this thread to my story so you can find it easily if you need a recap!…
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