Are you ready for your child’s first day of school?
Public school begins August 16 in Broward and August 17 in Miami-Dade.
Here’s what parents and students need to know:
Will breakfast and lunch be free?
Breakfast is free for all Miami-Dade and Broward Public School students. Again this year, the Miami-Dade Public School District is also offering a free lunch to all students.
The district said it will rely this year on funding from a federal program called Community eligibility provision, which reimburses schools and school districts for meals in low-income areas. Last year, South Florida school districts relied on a USDA waiver now expired offer a free lunch to students.
At Broward, some students, but not all, will receive free lunch.
The Broward Public School District said it could provide free lunch to students at 167 schools with funding it would get from the Community Eligibility Provision program. Broward Schools said they are telling eligible families about the free lunch and they won’t have to fill out a meal application.
To be eligible for the program, schools must have at least 40% of their student population eligible for other federal aid, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the school district said.
For students attending a Broward school that was ineligible for the federal program, lunch will be based on their meal eligibility (free, reduced, paid) as before the pandemic, the district said. Families can complete a meal request at https://www.myschoolapps.com
To see the menu of Miami-Dade schools, visit dadeschools.nutrislice.com/menus-eula. If your child has special dietary needs, contact the school to find out how to submit the necessary form. To view the Broward Schools menu and to find out how to request a special diet, visit browardschools.com/menus.
Know your child’s bus route
If your child is taking the bus to school, you will need to double-check their bus assignment, and if you are in Broward, you will also need to register them for the bus. Remember that the buses may be late during the first weeks of school.
Here’s what else you need to know:
Miami-Dade County Public Schools sends a postcard with the child’s bus assignment information to eligible families at the start of the school year, depending on the district.
Parents can also find their child’s bus assignment online on the Parent Portal. At the top of the portal screen, click on “Bus Info”. Parents should check this periodically for the most up-to-date information. Parents who cannot access the portal or have other questions should call their child’s school.
In Browardparents who want their child to take the bus must register online at https://tfsweb.browardschools.com/ride. Once your child is registered, contact your child’s school for an effective bus assignment date.
Keep in mind that if you sign up for the bus now, your child might not get a bus until the second week of school, according to Broward County Public Schools. The school district can only guarantee a bus for the first day of school to students who were registered for the bus before July 15, according to the school district.
For parents who have already registered their child for the bus, expect to receive a “robot” advising you to check your “Virtual Advisor” account for bus stop information, including bus route number. bus, bus stop location and pick up and drop off times. for the bus stop, according to Broward County Public Schools.
Are there any COVID rules this year at Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools?
Both school districts say parents should self-screen their children for the flu or COVID-like symptoms, such as fever, before sending them to school. Sick children should stay home. School districts say they will continue deep cleaning and encourage frequent hand washing. Masks are optional.
Broward says all of its schools will continue to have two nurses and voluntary COVID-19 testing (subject to parental consent) available.
What about quarantine?
According to state rules, children who test positive for COVID and who are asymptomatic can go to school.
The Miami-Dade School District says it also still plans to notify parents if their child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID, but it will be up to parents to decide whether they should be put in quarantine. In Broward, students can expect the same quarantine procedure as last year, the school district said. To learn more about Broward’s COVID rules, visit browardschools.com/coronavirus.
What does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend?
The CDC no longer recommends quarantining people after exposure to COVID in schools. The federal public health agency recommends people exposed to COVID wear masks for 10 days and get tested on day 5. The CDC also always recommends people who test positive for the COVID isolate for at least five days.
Make sure your child’s immunization records are up to date
Vaccines protecting against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and other diseases are required for all public and private school children attending day care and K-12 school in the state, according to the Florida Department of Health. And yes, this includes students who plan to study online.
What is not mandatory to go to school: the COVID-19 vaccine.
A list of necessary school vaccinationsincluding for children attending daycare and kindergarten, can be found on the Department of Health website.
Online school registration
All Florida public school districts offer a completely online learning alternative. If you prefer your child to learn virtually, you better hurry. The deadline to register for e-learning is approaching.
For Miami-Dade K-12 students, registration for Miami-Dade Virtual School ends 10 school days after the start of the semester on August 17. Registration for the school district’s other online option is complete.
For Broward students, the K-12 online option is called Broward Virtual School. Registration for K-5 grades closed on July 15. Registration for grades 6-12 closes August 31.
Miami-Dade Virtual School and Broward Virtual School are free and are franchises of Florida Virtual School, the state’s online K-12 school that offers full-time and part-time learning.
Find the school assigned to your child
If you recently moved or want to make sure your child’s assigned school hasn’t changed, the Miami-Dade and Broward Public School Districts have online locators you can use. Be sure to use the child’s primary residential address.
For Miami-Dade School Locator, search results can be filtered by grade level (example: Do you only want elementary? K-8? High school?) and commute time. You can also filter schools by attendance options, including whether the school is assigned, a magnet school, or a school of choice.
For Broward School Locator, select your child’s grade level and enter their primary home address. The school assigned to your child will appear. If you click on it, you’ll get a variety of details, including enrollment demographics and the name of the school principal.
Calendars, notes, apps
▪ Miami Dade and Broward have online 2022-2023 school year calendars and online test schedules.
▪ Miami Dade and Broward Schools have parent portals online. They allow you to see your child’s grade, bus assignment, and other important information.
▪ Miami-Dade Schools has a smartphone app, Dadeschools Mobile, which provides information about your child’s school, such as grades, bus routes, school news, and lunch menu. It also has a link to FortifyFL, a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows users to instantly report information to law enforcement and school authorities. Broward Schools has a similar app. Find it by typing BCPS mobile app or Broward County Public Schools. Emergencies must first be reported to 911.
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This story was originally published August 15, 2022 4:30 a.m.