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Martin County School District approves back-to-school plan

'It provides an option for them, it provides a choice for them'
Posted at 8:38 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 23:54:24-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla.  — Martin County School Board members voted unanimously to approve a back-to-school plan, opening campuses in August but allowing parents to request their students do virtual learning.

The decision came during a meeting Tuesday evening.

Parents will be able to request virtual learning beginning Friday.

On Monday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an executive order requiring all school districts to "open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students."

Martin County Superintendent Laurie Gaylord said the school district pivoted quickly to revise reopening plans following Corcoran’s order.

“There are many people who want their children in school every day and there are many children who need to be in school every day,” Gaylord said.

But Gaylord also knows there are parents who are not ready to send their students back to school. The Martin County School District will offer a virtual option to students who will also have a place saved for them in the classroom should they later feel more comfortable returning to school.

“It provides an option for them, it provides a choice for them,” Gaylord said. Those students will be able to watch their class and teacher through zoom. “The children have the same educational experience as the children in the classroom,” Gaylord said.

All students will be required to wear masks. “There will be masks available if someone shows up without one,” Gaylord said.

The district will implement safety measures such as temperature checks, spaced out desks, one-way directions down hallways, and frequent sanitization. Access to playgrounds will be prohibited, visitation and field trips will be limited, among other sanitation and social distancing measures.

Friday, the school district will send out a survey to parents who want to sign up their students for virtual school.

“People that are doing brick and mortar-- they don’t need to do anything. But the parents that want to do the virtual option, they need to let us know,” Gaylord said.

Children taking a bus to school will also be required to wear a mask on the bus.

To view the Florida Department of Education plan for reopening schools, click here.

To learn more about the Martin County School District reopening plan, click here.