Coping with Back to School, Superintendent announces opening

Posted on 16 September 2020 by JLusk

Waverly does Back to School in style.

By Rachel Galvin

COVID-19 has caused a lot of changes in our daily lives, one of them is in the school system. The Observer had the chance to speak to a few people affected by these changes to get their opinions on how it is going this year.

“The first day of virtual school at Deerfield Beach Middle School (DBMS) exceeded my expectations,” said one parent, Lisa Cornell Davis. “Communications from Superintendent Runcie and principal Dr. Fulton have been informative, detailed and helpful. It was smooth sailing thanks to the leadership. One of our initial fears was lack of social interaction with a 100% online experience, but each teacher did a wonderful job encouraging engagement using Teams Video Conferencing while introducing icebreakers to get to know everyone on a personal level.  The teachers, students and leadership are resilient, creative and flexible. They are history in the making. They care about our health and safety.  They are pioneers in education … and it’s not only working, it’s working well!”

Avery is all smiles on the first day.

Michelle Olson-Rogers, whose daughter attends Grandview Prep, a private school in Boca Raton, where they are back to having in person classes, said, “I think every family’s decision to go back to school is extremely personal. There is no right one during a pandemic. However, as a parent, you know in your gut what is best for your child. It is up to God and good hygiene to keep us safe this year! We personally decided to go back to school in person because our school has created small cohort environments where we feel extremely safe.” 

Jack can’t wait for Kindergarten.

Joanie Cox-Henry, whose son, Jack, is in Kindergarten this year, said, We did distance learning for pre-k 4 once the school closed due to the pandemic. St. Joan of Arc Catholic School (in Boca Raton) and its teachers and staff did an outstanding job bringing the curriculum online. We had math, reading, art, science, religious education and even PE online. My son, however, really struggled with the isolation of not being in a classroom setting. He deeply missed the in-person connection of learning and he, of course, missed seeing his classmates and teachers at school each day. As a parent, I struggled with juggling home life and school life all in our living room. Daily life became more chaotic, especially with a 2-year-old child home as well.”

Emily looks happy to start the school year.

Sam is ready to get to work.









Virtual school at A.D. Henderson University School (in Boca Raton) has gone remarkably smooth,” said Leslie Moore. “My 7th grader and 2nd grader spend most of their school day on video conferences with their teachers at opposite sides of the house. The video conferences can get loud. Emily also video conferences with the P.E., Media and STEAM teachers weekly. She also has designated break times each day for physical movement, reading, recess and lunch. I’m close by to help with technical issues which can get frustrating at times. Her teacher has been amazing. My 7th grader has eight subjects spread over two days taught through 90 min. video meetings. She talks a lot about her electives: art, robotics and chorus. She seems to have easily transitioned to online learning though I know she wants to be with her friends. We picked up computers and course materials from the school over the summer an, other than a few technical issues, this process has been fairly easy.”

Sophia is ready for 8th grade.

Tinka Ellington-Hooper’s daughter Sophia attends Saint Andrew’s School in Boca. She said about working from home, “Everyone at school has worked really hard to implement virtual schooling effectively. The new school year has been going very well. It’s different of course but also has it’s positive aspects. Through virtual schooling, we are doing what needs to be done right now to keep everyone safe and still have the kids receive a quality education.”

On Sept. 15, Superintendent Runcie announced that he is planning on reopening schools on Oct. 5 with certain procedures, like mask wearing, in place and certain things like science labs not being open, and homework turned in electronically. For info. on how things will be reopened, visit

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