Special Alert: Important Coronavirus News and Updates
for Charter Schools

March 17, 2020

In this rapidly evolving situation, FCPCS is committed to providing our valued member schools with the news, updates and resources to keep you informed.

FCPCS encourages all charter schools to stay in contact with their school districts to receive accurate, up-to-date information, resources and instructions in the weeks ahead. If your district is not providing regular updates on coronavirus and information critical to your school community, let them know.

FDOE Survey for Charter Schools – Submit by Wednesday, March 18
The Florida Department of Education Charter Schools Office has released a survey to charter schools pertaining to deep cleaning and student activities on charter school campuses. Please complete and submit by Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
CLICK HERE to access the survey and email from Adam Emerson, Director of Charter Schools.

CDC Recommendations for Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Florida
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued recommendations for implementation of mitigation strategies for Florida, based on current situation with COVID-19 transmission and consideration of the state’s large older adult population. CLICK HERE for a copy of the report.

Sample Notification to Charter School Employees
Communicating with your employees is more important than ever right now. To assist our valued member schools, we are providing a sample memorandum schools can use to communicate expectations for reporting to work, health care, travel and self-isolation, and more. You can modify the memo according to your individual needs. To access the sample memo, CLICK HERE.

Internet Providers Offering Free Access
Comcast is offering free access to its Xfinity Wi-Fi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for the next 60 days. It is also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can't pay their bills. The company is also offering 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service to qualifying low-income households. The service is normally $9.95/month.

Comcast has two dedicated phone numbers: (855) 846-8376 for English and (855) 765-6995 for Spanish.

To view the Comcast “Get Two Months of Internet Free” flyer displayed on the Broward County Schools website, CLICK HERE. This information is relevant to families throughout Florida.

AT&T is also providing free access to its public Wi-Fi hot spots. Consumer home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers will also receive unlimited data. AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.

Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum, is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to families with K-12 students or college students who do not already have a Spectrum subscription. The company is also waiving its installation fees for new subscribers and will open Wi-Fi hotspots across the county for public use. To enroll, call (844) 488-8395.

USDA Grants Florida Waiver to Provide Meals During School Closures
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted Florida waivers to allow schools, childcare institutions and community organizations to provide meals during school closures related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The waivers allow school districts (and charter schools who are sponsors of the National School Lunch Program) to use flexibility in their delivery methods. The waivers also allow districts (and charter schools) to develop innovative solutions to avoid mass congregations of children. Some methods include drive-thru meal pick-up, deliveries along school bus routes or single drop meal days where children can receive multiple days worth of meals all at once to limit exposure.

Individual school districts and other providers are tasked with developing and applying for programs in their district. The decision to serve meals during school closures rests with each school district and provider.

FDACS requires letter of intention to provide meals during school closures
School districts and charter schools who are considered sponsors of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are required to submit letters of intentions to provide meals during school closures to the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACS). For guidelines, please refer to FDACS’ March 14, 2020 press release.

To access the FDACS press release, CLICK HERE. Then, scroll to “Information for School Districts” near the bottom of the page.

FDACS Announces Meal Sites for Children Under 18
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has announced that families can find free meals for children under 18 during the current coronavirus school closures. The meal locations can be found at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com