West Broward High School Principal Brad Fatout welcomed students and staff back to school for the 2020-21 school year. The year kicked off in unusual circumstances with all classes online. That didn’t stop Mr. Fatout from doing his best to motivate the students and teachers.
“As Bobacts, we rise, hold our heads high, and are collectively proud of each other. As we begin this year virtually, I encourage students to reach out,” said Fatout, “I encourage students to stay connected with peers, student leaders and staff. We are in this together.”
This year’s first day of school was unlike any other. Students fired up laptops, PCs, smartphones, and ipads across Broward County on Wednesday, August 18th. Broward County students used several web-based apps to begin the school year. Many students were familiar with Canvas, a platform the district has been using for several years; however, the kick-off did not go off without a hitch.
Widespread issues were reported early on, as students adapted to the Microsoft Teams platform that the school system implemented for the first time this semester. Students and teachers worked out most of the kinks by mid-afternoon, however.
At the conclusion of the day, Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie held a press conference to discuss the successes and learning points of the unique first-day. He immediately addressed the technology challenges students faced. The school system managed more than 260,000 active users during the day.
“For issues with technology, parents are encouraged to call their local school or the recently set up technology hotline at 754-321-0659,” commented Runcie.
The parent response to the first day was mixed. “I was pleasantly surprised by how things went,” commented Davie mom, Christy Foreman, “I have a child in high school and one in middle school. There were hiccups along the way, but both managed to engage with their teachers in every subject.”
When asked about students returning to school, Dr. Muncie stated that, if current trends continue, he is optimistic about getting students back in schools in some manner by the end of the year.