VERO BEACH, Fla. — The Indian River County school superintendent announced Monday he will recommend delaying schools until Aug. 24.
The school board will meet Tuesday to approve the start date and full reopening plan that Superintendent Dr. David Moore recommended Monday.
"We cannot rush an opening of schools. We cannot use children as an experiment. Their instruction is too valuable. It is too important. We need to get this right on day one," said Moore.
In late June, Moore presented students and parents with three options for the new school year:
- Traditional in-classroom learning "with health and safety procedures in place" which was scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 10
- Virtual School: Full-time online instruction at home
- Transitional Distance Learning Model: Full-time online instruction/live streamed lessons at home
The deadline was last Friday for parents to choose their student's instructional choice model.
"We are not, by any means, going to get this wrong," Moore said. "We are going to create a system that ensures that all students are provided quality instruction on Day 1."
Starting Monday, Moore said the school district will begin distributing district-loaned laptops to students enrolled in online instruction.
The superintendent said 22 percent of families have opted for some form of online instruction.
Then on Aug. 3, school employees will report to work for health/safety training. Families will also be notified of student schedules on that day.
Moore said his plan calls for students and staff to wear masks when social distancing is not possible, especially when riding the school bus or in the hallways between classes.
“We need to ensure our faculty and staff fully understand these procedures, and have the time not only to understand them but fully embrace them, so that when our students come to school, they are safe," Moore said.
Also, students and staff who have a positive COVID-19 test can only return to a school setting until they have been symptom-free for at least 10 days and no fever for three days.
After the school board votes on the plan, the state will have to approve it.