Carvalho says remote learning will continue until at least May as schools hand out meals

MIAMI (WSVN) - Hours after Miami-Dade County Public Schools handed out meals to students who are taking their courses online, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed remote learning will go on longer than originally expected, at least until May.

Students were expected to return to their classrooms on April 15, but on Monday night, Carvalho tweeted out that the more realistic scenario is sometime in May at the earliest.

With the number of COVID-19 cases still surging in South Florida, as well as new guidance from the White House and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the superintendent had already suggested a possible later date for schools to reopen while speaking with reporters earlier on Monday.

“Probably, not only will we complete April through distance learning, but we’ll go well into May with this same type of approach,” said Carvalho.

The superintendent is urging parents to be prepared for remote learning to continue during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Obviously, this is disruptive. It is less than ideal, but folks, it is necessary,” said Carvalho.

7News cameras captured the superintendent as he helped pass out meals to parents who arrived to pick up lunch for their children at a school in Hialeah.

Carvalho said starting next week, the school district will be taking attendance based on which students are logged in to the distance learning software.

With spring break over, 8-year-old David Blanco is one of the hundreds of thousands of South Florida students adjusting to this new way of learning.

“I miss my friends very much,” he said.

But his mother, Yesenia Mercedes, said both of them are adjusting.

“As long as we’re able make sure he gets to finish his school year, and he’s still able to stay on top of his stuff and we stay healthy, it’s the main concern,” she said.

Other parents said they are also managing to juggle working from home while their children take their classes at home as well.

“It’s just been a little bit difficult, but I guess it’s something we all have to get accustomed to,” said parent Andrea Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, teachers like Ingrid LaFarga, who teaches at Kendale Lakes Elementary, have turned rooms in their homes into school studios.

“These are items I took from my classroom,” she said.

LaFarga sent 7News video of her setup where she’s currently streaming her pre-kindergarten classes.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools will continue to provide their meal program through a drive-thru grab-and-go service, even if in-person classes do not resume for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.

Parents said picking up the meals has been a tremendous help.

“We have three kids, so these are three meals, so you know it’s three lunches that we have to worry about less,” said parent Yvon Parra.

Parents were also able to pick up laptop computers for their children at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Monday afternoon.

The meals for students are available at 50 schools throughout the district. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., “grab and go” meals will also be available for parents to pick up for students as well.

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