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FEA’s Safe Schools Report: 2021-22

Florida’s teachers and education staff professionals have done their very best to keep students safe and learning — under what were often incredibly difficult circumstances — since the Covid pandemic first affected public schools in March 2020. When school campuses closed that spring, teachers and staff turned on a dime to take education online, keep kids fed and provide needed services to children and families. When our campuses reopened in fall 2020, teachers and staff pivoted again, finding ways to keep students learning even as infections surged.

Our educators’ successes during this trial by fire are particularly remarkable given the circumstances that existed when Covid arrived. Florida’s public schools already were struggling with a raft of issues — severe shortages of teachers and staff, an over-reliance on high-stakes standardized testing that stole away time for genuine teaching and learning, overcrowded classrooms, failing infrastructure and defunct air conditioning, the diversion of resources to unaccountable private and religious schools.

Covid exacerbated some existing problems, such as our staffing shortages. Since March 2020, pandemic-caused disruptions and illness have taken a terrible toll on students, teachers, education staff and schools.

This webpage gathers data on how Covid has affected the current school year. Click here to jump to the data. For statistics regarding the 2020-2021 school year, go here.

The Covid vaccines now offer a path past the pandemic for our communities and schools, and the Florida Education Association urges anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated. Even as infections decline, however, our students and schools still need help — and they need assistance more acutely than before the coronavirus arrived.

We ask that you join with us in pushing for change during Florida’s 2022 legislative session, when state lawmakers will have the opportunity to truly improve educators’ ability to help students learn and thrive. The session begins Jan. 11. Click here to read about the changes we’re seeking.

Please join us also in asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to turn aside from punishing schools and districts because, after all, who he is really hurting is kids. Email Gov. DeSantis today to ask him to release the federal Covid relief funds he is withholding from our schools, and to allow local districts to make decisions regarding the safety of their communities’ students — without state retaliation.

Our students deserve strong public schools. Help us push past the pandemic and toward a brighter future for Florida’s children.

The Safe Schools Report is updated weekly.

Page last updated at 5:34 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22

26

Florida children who have died from Covid-19 since July 2021. 

103

Florida active educators who have died from Covid-19 since July 2021. 

Published reports indicate thirteen staff members of Miami-Dade County Public Schools died from Covid over a 10-day period in late August through early September.

The MDCPS staff we have not identified by name are included in the count of educators who have died even though they are not listed above.

216,250

Florida children under age 16 that have tested positive since Aug 1 based on reporting from the Florida Department of Health.

168,705*

Confirmed Florida PreK-12 students and staff who’ve tested positive for Covid-19 since Aug. 1.

*This number comes from school district Covid-19 dashboards. As many school districts do not have publicly available dashboards the actual number is significantly higher.

(Above is a partial list based on published news reports and cumulative school district reports. To submit additional information please use the form below.) 

409

Average daily number of new pediatric cases as of last Florida Department of Health report on Oct. 22.

This is a decrease from an average of 542 daily pediatric cases from the Oct. 15 report

(Above is a partial list based on published news reports and cumulative university reports. To submit additional information please use the form below.) 

31

Confirmed campus closings or partial closings since Florida schools started to reopen in Aug. 2021. 

260,328*

Confirmed quarantines of staff and students from district website Covid dashboards since  Aug. 1.

*The vast majority of school districts do not publish the number of quarantined students and staff on their website. The actual number of students and staff who have had to quarantine is significantly higher.

(Above is a partial list based on published news reports. To submit additional information please use the form below.) 

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Want to share something about your school or district’s reopening?

Please to complete the reporting form to provide vital information if you have information regarding:

  • An outbreak in a school or worksite
  • A school worksite or classroom closure related to Covid-19
  • A suppression of Covid exposure information 
  • A lack of adequate district/school administrator response to confirmed Covid cases
  • Any other Covid related concern 

Please leave your contact information to allow for confirmation, and we will guard your personal information and only share with your expressed permission. 

If you fear retaliation, or wish to remain anonymous for any reason, you may fill the form only identifying your county and role.

If you have an active health and safety emergency requiring immediate attention please contact your local union.  If you are seeking legal assistance, please also contact your local union.