Miami-Dade students return to class for 1st time since March

MIAMI (AP) — More than 22,000 students are returning to classrooms in Miami-Dade County on Monday for the first time since schools shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students are the first to return to the Miami-Dade Public School district under a staggered reopening plan. Another 40,000 students are expected to return to classrooms on Wednesday, with yet another group starting on Friday. Another group of students will continue distance learning from their homes. Miami-Dade is the nation’s fourth largest district, with 345,000 students.

The school board originally wanted to push the reopening back to mid-October but settled on Monday’s start date after Florida’s education secretary threatened to withhold state funding. Miami-Dade County’s daily positive test result rate on Sunday was over 5% during four of the previous seven days.

School officials prepared campuses for social distancing, installed air filters and arranged for school nurses and “medically trained staff” to be present at each school. Each student is expected to receive a thermometer when returning to school.

Many teachers and parents have expressed concern over the system’s readiness to return to brick-and-mortar schools, including student-teacher ratios, sanitation supplies and masks. District officials say they are well prepared for students to return.

In neighboring Broward County, which boasts the country’s sixth largest district, school officials are preparing for a staggered reopening beginning on Friday.

South Florida has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus, but is complying with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to put the entire state into Phase 3 of his coronavirus recovery plan, with only case-by-case exceptions to his call for all businesses and restaurants to reopen.

Florida on Sunday had more than 1,800 new reported coronavirus cases and more than 40 new related deaths. Florida now has had 716,459 total cases of the virus, and 14,845 related deaths.

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Nina Agdal gets heart rates soaring in a red sports bra as she leads fitness class

In quarantine, Danish supermodel Nina Agdal has made the transition from walking runways to leading workout classes. 

The 28-year-old stunner whose been spending her time in the Hamptons with boyfriend Jack Brinkley Cook, 25, was spotted arriving at her socially distanced workout class in Amagansett. 

The model was masked up at The Reform Club Inn, as she prepared to get heart rates soaring at her Agdal Method class. 

Agdal method: Supermodel Nina Agdal, 28, prepared to teach one of her workout classes out in The Hamptons on Saturday. The Danish born beauty wore a red sports bra and a pair of tight spandex as she taught a group in a socially distanced class

For her day of teaching, Nina showed off her statuesque physique in a red Nike sports bra that she paired with black spandex leggings. 

She toted along a green sweatshirt around her waist, tucking her cell phone in her leggings as she walked to the front of the class. 

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Preparing to get barefoot for the lesson, Nina sported a fun pair of tie dye socks and slides as she went makeup free. 

The Victoria’s Secret stunner kept her hair out of her face in a tight topknot, as she slid her sunglasses atop her head.

Toned and ready: The Danish born model walked to the front of her class with a mask on as she got ready to sweat it all out on Saturday
Sweat session: Nina led her intimate class of fitness enthusiasts outside as they switched between various strength training and toning exercises

 Making sure to protect herself and others, Nina kept her mask on very tight until she was up at the front in her designated space. 

In snaps shared to social media, followers of the method were seen standing on yoga mats with resistance bands and ankle weights as they engaged in a sculpt session. 

The fitness method which launched in app form in mid March, allows its consumers to get access to various workouts, in addition to nutrition guides and tips.  

Nina has grown a loyal following, engaging her clients in various core-strengthening workouts weekly, and holding in person classes since August. 

Workout: The fitness method which launched in app form in mid March, allows its consumers to get access to various workouts Nina does, in addition to nutrition guides and tips

Work and play: Nina rocked a unitard as she joked it was her ‘everyday uniform’ on social media, taking her from her workout classes to the streets

On Friday, Nina took to Instagram to do a Q+A with her 1.6M followers as she answered questions about fitness and her health journey. 

The model shared a lot about herself, revealing that even as a model she struggles with body image and weight. 

She wrote, ‘My weight has fluctuated like crazy the past 12 years. I started full time modeling at 18 and my weight was all over the place. I’ve been 120 pounds and I’ve

Wellington virtual Zumba class keeps students moving, hoping

Kristina Webb
| Palm Beach Post

WELLINGTON — Elyse Beras’ relationship with Zumba did not start out well.

The Wellington resident’s first try at the fitness class, which combines aerobics and Latin dance, fell flat. The instructor just wasn’t engaging.

Then Beras found Jamie Tizol. 

More: Annual Wellington Holiday Parade called off over coronavirus concerns

The effervescent Zumba instructor drew Beras into the high-energy workouts — something Tizol continues to do with new students, now in a virtual format using the Zoom video conferencing platform, prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“She makes every individual feel, ‘You can do it with me, and I’m going to show you how,’” Beras said.

Tizol has earned praise from her students at the Wellington Community Center, with people heaping acclaim on the 43-year-old instructor for her engaging personality and skill as an instructor.

More: Wellington honors service groups as ‘backbone’ of weekly food distribution

But something else about Tizol’s virtual classes is getting the attention of Wellington residents. 

When Tizol moved from her physical classroom at the community center to a virtual classroom using the Zoom video conferencing platform, it opened up an opportunity for her dedicated students, like Beras, to share the classes with friends and family around the country.

It’s helped them connect, stay in touch and see each other in a fun setting each week, Beras said.

“She could get a person that’s dying up to dance,” she said.

More: Chiari malformation: Wellington woman’s journey inspires her to advocacy

Tizol joined Wellington’s slate of community center instructors in 2016. She teaches four virtual classes: Zumba, Zumba Gold for people age 55 and older, Zumba Gold chair for people who may not be as mobile, and Zumba Toning, which incorporates a small amount of weight.

Moving from in-person classes to Zoom was “seamless” for Tizol, said Jenifer Brito, Wellington’s Community Services specialist, who organizes and directs senior programs. 

“We’re so lucky to have her,” Brito said. 

With 20 to 35 people per class, Tizol still finds a way to make each class personal for her students, Brito said. 

More: Coronavirus has made cancer treatment even lonelier. Here’s how you can help.

“She really loves what she does, and it really shines through,” she said.

Wellington has received a flood of calls from grateful students over the past few weeks, Brito said.

“She’s bringing family members together during this time,” she said. “That’s special.”

For Tizol, each class is a gift. 

“I look forward to it every day, to see their smiling faces,” she said.

More: Former Wellington resident pens ‘guidebook’ on breast cancer fight

Tizol began teaching Zumba about 15 years ago while living in Virginia. Growing up, she had a passion for dancing and music, and when a friend introduced her to the lively workouts, she fell in love. 

When she and her family moved from Virginia to Wellington six years ago, she had to start fresh with a new group of students. 

It was fate that she met Mary Ann

13-year-old holds exercise class to benefit kids’ mental health

As 13-year-old Sadie Feingold prepared for her bat mitzvah project this year, she had one goal in mind: to stop the stigma.

The eighth-grader from Port Washington knew she wanted to focus on mental health for her community service project ahead of her bat mitzvah, or Jewish coming-of-age ceremony. She wanted to encourage kids and teens to talk about mental health struggles and help normalize it.

She said she was inspired to focus on this topic because of her own previous struggles with mental health.

“The whole point was to raise awareness to it and normalize it,” Sadie said.

So after doing some research with her mom about the connection between exercise and children’s mental health, they came up with a plan: She would host an exercise class at their synagogue for local teens and families, and raise money to support the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights, a mental health agency that treats children and families.

The Guidance Center said her efforts have raised nearly $2,000.

“People don’t really talk about mental health as they do with physical health,” Sadie said. ”I think that some people feel like it’s not important, and I want people to feel like they should be able to talk about their emotions, as they would talk about like how they feel physically.”

The idea originated back in the winter — before the pandemic took hold. She and her mom read a piece in The New York Times that reported how even a moderate amount of exercise in adolescents can raise their endorphin levels, and in turn, help improve their mental health. Endorphins are hormones that promote feelings of natural well-being.

Sadie continued doing research on the topic, and once restrictions lifted and they could congregate outside, her class came together.

They invited family, friends and others to congregate in the parking lot of The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, and on Sept. 13, about 35 kids, teens and adults participated in the 45-minute class of individual exercises, led by a fitness instructor they knew.

They took donations at the class to support the Guidance Center — and encouraged those who couldn’t attend to donate as well. Sadie also gave out T-shirts with “#StopTheStigma” printed on them.

“I think it’s important … that kids feel comfortable, and so they’re not alone in dealing with these issues,” Sadie’s mom Jessica Feingold said. “It’s just something that tons of people deal with now more than ever, and I think it’s important to get that message out there.”

Sadie’s bat mitzvah had been originally scheduled for June, and was postponed to Sept. 26 because of the pandemic. But her mitzvah project only grew in relevance during this period.

Regina Barros-Rivera, associate executive director at the Guidance Center, said their work at the center has become

Want to Connect With People In Your Fitness Class? This App Is Here to Help

graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message: The FitGrid Class App was created to help people—and studios—create a community.

© Courtesy Max Borges Agency
The FitGrid Class App was created to help people—and studios—create a community.

  • The FitGrid Class App is available today, September 28, in the App Store and Google Play.
  • The FitGrid Class App is connected to studios that use MindBody for booking.
  • You can sign up for classes all over the world, and connect with others taking the class through the app.

Did you ever find yourself (pre-pandemic) in a fitness class with the same people, giving each other a nod of recognition but making no other connection? And maybe now, are you seeing the same people in your Zoom workout class, but you find it’s not really set up for you to interact?


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A new fitness and community platform called the FitGrid Class App—launching Monday, September 28hopes to help you change that.

FitGrid, available for both iOS and Android, curates live-stream and in-person classes from real fitness studios around the world and allows users to connect via in-app messaging. That way, you can connect with other members via the messaging feature that you might not otherwise talk to. Additionally, you can connect with friends on the app and be notified of classes they are taking so you can join them.

“I wanted to create a platform where people could connect with each other before class, feel more comfortable walking in, and have an ability to understand what you’re getting into going to the class,” Nt Etuk, Founder and CEO of FitGrid told Runner’s World.

Classes on the app include F45 and The Dailey Method as well as small, independent studios. Users can also get a preview of what to expect from the class, connect with the instructor, and see if others in the class are open to connecting or just there for the workout.

Etuk, who got into group fitness (pilates) to help rehab his injury, plantar fasciitis, found that he was attending classes with the same people but never making a connection. Although the coronavirus pandemic has changed what group fitness looks like, FitGrid can still help connect friends and family all over the world and help fitness studios stay connected to their members. And, planned updates will allow users to message their instructors after class to chat about their fitness goals.

all out studio app

© Hearst Owned
all out studio app

Users can invite their friends to join a class with them, or search by classes that their friends have taken. The goal of the app is to create community and also enable studios to help develop relationships and stay in touch with their community, which is more important than ever with the pandemic, Etuk said.

By using the connective features on the app, studios will be able to utilize this as a way to keep clients and draw new clients. Similar to what they might’ve done before with in-class experience or marketing on the street that they can’t do now, Etuk said.

“Our goal ultimately is to help people lead

Mayor Lori Lightfoot easing Chicago restrictions on indoor bars, restaurants, fitness class sizes

Chicago bars that don’t serve food will be allowed to reopen for indoor service starting Thursday, and bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol until 1 a.m., Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.

a dining room table: Chicago bars that don t serve food will be allowed to reopen for indoor service beginning Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.

© Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Chicago bars that don t serve food will be allowed to reopen for indoor service beginning Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.

In addition, Lightfoot said the city will now allow shaves, facials, and other personal services that previously were banned because they required the removal of face masks. The city also will increase the maximum group size for health and fitness classes and after-school programming from 10 to 15 people, officials said.

The moves are Lightfoot’s latest attempt to ease the financial burden on Chicago businesses by lifting frequently criticized restrictions. But the moves also come as the city prepares for flu season and the number of new COVID-19 cases per day hovers around 300.

Lightfoot has been eager to showcase Chicago as America’s most open big city during the pandemic, while also pledging to heed scientific advice on how much leeway to give businesses and other public places where people congregate.

Monday’s announcement keeps the city in phase four of its reopening framework, but loosens several standards.

This is the second time during the pandemic that the mayor has let bars that don’t serve food welcome patrons inside. But they will be limited to 25% of capacity under the new rules.

These establishments have drawn particular focus from the city as spots where coronavirus spreads, with Lightfoot repeatedly saying lower inhibitions as patrons drink can cause them to become lax about maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.

Bars were allowed to serve some people inside when the city moved to phase four of its reopening framework in late June when new cases were around 167 per day. But in mid-July, as virus cases spiked to around 233 per day, Lightfoot rolled that back and restricted those taverns to outdoors only.

As of Monday, Chicago’s average daily case count for the past week sat at 299, according to the city’s coronavirus dashboard website, a 28% increase over the number at which the mayor opted to close taverns to inside service and put other stricter rules in place two months ago.

With Chicago weather getting dodgier deeper into autumn, the city’s hundreds of bar operators have been clamoring to again open their doors to drinkers, arguing the distinction between those businesses that serve food and those that don’t is in many cases not relevant.

According to Lightfoot’s plan, Chicago won’t move on to phase five until there’s a coronavirus vaccine. But she left herself a lot of room to continue to “turn up the dimmer switch” on a return to normal within phase four.

Although Lightfoot is easing some rules, the city will still require patrons to wear face masks “except when actively eating or drinking.” They also will be required to order from their seats at indoor bars