Miami-Dade public school superintendent Alberto Carvalho reacted to the school board’s decision to remove K12’s My School Online virtual classroom platform, following problems experienced during the first few weeks.
Carvalho reported that, once the unanimously approved decision by the board was known, the company responsible for supplying My School Online system software informed the District that it would respect the board’s stated will and begin migrating students from Miami-Dade schools off its platform on Thursday, September 10.
“Teachers will receive assistance and direction to help with this transition. Teachers are free to use any curriculum resources adopted by the District with their classes and I have a lot of faith in their ability to recover and ability to adapt to this situation”
Carvalho said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.
Report of Miami-Dade public school superintendent
He reported that starting today, schools and teachers in the county should use Microsoft Teams and Zoom for their virtual classes, while taking other sets of steps to improve the online class system. Since last week, the use of the K12 platform for grades 6 to 12 had been discontinued, and Microsoft Teams and Zoom applications had begun to be used, which from today extend to the entire school system.
Recognizing the technical difficulties many students, teachers & parents experienced w/ K12 platform, effective immediately, based on School Board action on Sept. 9, all teachers will connect w/ students through Microsoft Teams or Zoom through Microsoft Teams. Instructions below. pic.twitter.com/tyCBpVrxTb
— Miami-Dade Schools (@MDCPS) September 10, 2020
Carvalho was disappointed
By what happened at the start of virtual classes. “We recognize and regret that the 2020-2021 school year did not begin as expected. We know that students, teachers, and parents have been frustrated and disillusioned. As superintendent, I have been frustrated and disappointed” he wrote.
Among the measures he announced he presented a long list of nine points including the hiring of an executive director who will oversee the processes and implementation of information technology (ITS) and cybersecurity; it also recommended the allocation of a $5 million item for improvements in technology infrastructure, will implement staff training in the cybersecurity area and contract the advisory service in the area of technology and cybersecurity.
Similarly, Carvalho reported that it will request a forensic review of technological issues and seek the help of federal (FBI) and state law enforcement agencies to assist with investigation procedures. This is due to the cyberattacks that were identified in the first week of lases and that involved, among other measures, the arrest of a member of the student community.
Carvalho admitted that the experience should be much better than what has happened so far but warned that in distance classes there will always be some problems. “We are doing everything we can to protect this district, the security of our data and provide teachers and students with a good experience. We must also recognize that distance learning will always have some limited connectivity issues, regardless of platform.”
“The overall experience should be much better than has been experienced, and we will do that. Our community deserves no less“, Carvalho concluded.
On face-to-face classes, the superintendent clarified that the health and safety of employees and students is of paramount importance.
“When we started this work, we did it by stating that we would listen to the experts and let science drive our decision-making.”
For this reason he stated that any discussion or decision related to return to education in person will be in accordance with the guidance of medical and public health experts, CDC guidelines, and will be informed by the activation criteria previously identified as critical for a safe return to school.