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30.5% of students in Martin County will opt-in for virtual school this fall

Martin County school board votes to delay start of year until Aug. 25
Posted at 10:14 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 00:51:10-04

STUART, Fla. — The deadline for families to choose how their kids will return to school expired at 11:59 p.m. Friday.

As of Tuesday, 30.5% of the students in the Martin County School District had opted in for virtual learning.

Martin County parent Brandi Murray said social distancing inside schools is not possible.

"We don't know the long term effects of the virus, which is concerning," said Murray. "I couldn't imagine him being in kindergarten trying to socially distance. They don't even know what 6 feet is."

Murray's son, Mason, will be taking on the fifth grade from home instead of the classroom this fall.

"I miss my friends, but I don't want to be in harm's way just to see my friends because I can see them virtually online," said Mason, who attends Jensen Beach Elementary School.

RELATED: Martin County School District supports delaying start of school year to Aug. 25

Shannon Chapman said her kids will be going back to campus and that virtual school is not an option.

"Children of this age are not ready and adaptable to study online for 6-8 hours a day because it just does not work that way," said Chapman.

No start date for the school has been set.

Martin County school board members voted to support the delay of school until Aug. 25.

However, school board members said the decision is pending approval from the Martin County Education Association.

The president of the teacher's union released a statement Friday evening.

"The District calendar is a management right," said Karen Resciniti, President, Martin County Education Association. "The Martin County Education Association is not opposed to the calendar. However, the Martin County education association cannot support the new calendar without FIRST, negotiating the impact it has on our working conditions and our contract. On July 13th we, in a demand to bargain, include the possibility of a schedule. So, this is not a matter of a union decision. It is a matter of the District making a decision. The District is unwilling to get to the table so that we can expeditiously put forth the new calendar. It is very disappointing."

WPTV contacted the Martin County School District, after hours, for comment but has not yet received a response.