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MDCPS Office of Communications Banner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 28, 2020
CONTACT:  Daisy Gonzalez-Diego
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
305-995-2060

M-DCPS Ready to Kick Off the 2020-2021 School Year

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is preparing to officially open the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, August 31. Students will begin classes utilizing the My School Online (MSO) distance learning platform, as schools remain closed to students during this unprecedented health crisis. MSO will allow teachers to provide live, online instruction and interact with students on a daily basis. Some teachers have also opted to provide online instruction from their school classrooms to futher enhance the experience.

 

Beginning the first day of school, students, with assistance from their teachers, will participate in a one-week K-12 Introduction to Online Learning Course. This course will give students an opportunity to learn how to access live sessions with their teachers and become familiar with their schedule and assignments, while also getting to know their peers and developing a sense of community. The goal of this week-long introduction is to ensure students can successfully navigate the new platform for daily instruction, together with their teachers.

M-DCPS also provided a Week of Welcome for students and families to acquaint themselves in advance with the tools needed to engage in learning through MSO. The online learning modules and videos covering nearly 60 topics in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole can be found at miamiweekofwelcome.com.

Devices and How to Connect

To access MSO, students should visit www.dadeschools.net and log onto the Student Portal using a device with a microphone and camera. Students should click on the MSO icon to launch the application. Students are urged to use Google’s Chrome browser to access the website to optimize their MSO experience. Parents of students who need a device should contact their school.

 

Communication is important in a virtual environment. M-DCPS utilizes the Student and Parent Portals to share important information, including student class schedules and grades. Now more than ever, it is vital for parents and students to regularly access the Portal. Schools can provide parents a six-digit Parent PIN number to access the Parent Portal for the first time. Additionally, students in grades six and above are encouraged to use their District-issued email address and check it regularly to read important notices from the District, their principal and teachers. Parents and students are also encouraged to download the Dadeschools Mobile App, available for free on the App Store or Google Play Store.

 

Student Experience

Just like in the traditional schoolhouse, establishing and following routines will help set students up for success in My School Online.


Student attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class period. Students must enable the camera function on their computers so that teachers can identify them and take attendance.

To facilitate optimal performance of the District’s portals, as well as the distance learning platform as students across the county launch MSO during the first week of school, teachers will be staggering the start times of their morning web conference sessions (Class Connects). Schools will provide parents with the applicable schedule.

Students are encouraged to wear their school uniforms to participate in MSO each day. Families experiencing financial hardship, or who may otherwise have difficulty in acquiring a school uniform for their children, may contact their child’s school to learn more about the School Uniform Assistance Program.

 

As M-DCPS continues to balance safety and a full and enriching student learning experience, students will engage in extracurricular clubs and activities through a virtual setting while facilities are closed. Select school activities, including Open House, will also occur in this stage through virtual meetings/webinars, as well as pre-recorded videos.

As it relates to athletics, the Division of Athletics, Activities & Accreditation and the Executive Committee of the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) have developed a phased plan for returning to play. Parents should contact the athletic or activities director at their child’s school to obtain additional information on specific activities.

Crisis Support and Mental Health Services departments also stand ready to provide counseling support for students and staff impacted by a crisis event. M-DCPS is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students that is free from bullying and harassment, including in a distance learning environment. For additional information, contact Frank Zenere, District Coordinator, Student Services Crisis Program at fzenere@dadeschools.net or 305-995-7319.

Distribution of School Meals

M-DCPS will be distributing student meals at all schools, beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch pick-ups will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. School meals are available for enrolled M-DCPS students and adhere to federal U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements. Student ID numbers will be required at all distributions.

 

On Tuesdays, students will receive two (2) breakfast and two (2) lunch meals. On Thursdays,

M-DCPS will provide three (3) breakfast and three (3) lunch meals. Meal items are packaged in their frozen and refrigerated state to be taken home. Home heating instructions for the  frozen items are included. Breakfast is FREE for all students enrolled at M-DCPS and lunch is provided based on meal benefit eligibility status. Please click here for more information.

Transition to the Schoolhouse in Stage II

Once community conditions permit a transition to Stage II, allowing for the reopening of schools, both MSO and the five-day Schoolhouse Model will be in effect at the same time. The Schoolhouse Model represents a return to the traditional in-person school environment with several significant changes centered around enhanced health and safety precautions. Students will be able to participate in the instructional model that was selected by their families in the M-DCPS parent survey administered in July. Please refer to the M-DCPS Reopening Guide for more information on the transition to Stage II.

M-DCPS Resources

·         Reopening of Schools: reopening.dadeschools.net/ provides continuous updates and resources, including the M-DCPS Reopening Guide, FAQs, back-to- school checklist and parent webinar.

·         Week of Welcome: miamiweekofwelcome.com features more than 60 online videos and modules for families to prepare for the upcoming school year.

·         The Parent Academy: www.parentacademymiami.com supports families with access to a wide variety of training tools and resources.

·         Department of Mental Health Services: mentalhealthservices.dadeschools.net or (305) 995-7100 for support, services and resources for students and families.

·         Employee Assistance Program: yourmentalhealth.dadeschools.net or (305) 995-7111 for support for M-DCPS employees.

·         District Emergency Operations Support Line – 305-995-3000

·         Distance Learning Helpline – 305 995-HELP (4357)

To stay connected, it is important for parents to keep their contact information updated at their child’s school. Families can also sign up to receive automated voice email and text messages by texting “Y” to 67587.

For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools mobile app to your iPhone or Android device. Follow us on Twitter @mdcps and @miamisup, on Instagram @miamischools and @miamisup, and on Facebook at MiamiSchools and AlbertoCarvalho


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