Trends In Education
MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Data shows that returning to brick-and-mortar schools, as opposed to remote
learning, is reflected in higher grades for many students.
DIFFERENT BACK TO SCHOOL
Martin County schools began on their previously scheduled
first day in August, one of the few in the country to do so.
“The challenge was not knowing what lay ahead, but we
were organized and prepared,” Tracey Miller, the district’s
chief academic officer, says.
Indian River County school superintendent David Moore
faced a sort of baptism by fire: The shutdown was ordered just
44 instructional days after he took the helm. Its opening was
pushed back 10 days at the end of summer so teachers could
acquire new models and procedures — a reflection, Moore
says, “of our desire to open only when we were ready.”
To establish protocols for a safe reopening as well as the delivery
of personal protective equipment and the distribution
of laptops for virtual students, St. Lucie delayed two weeks.
District school superintendent Wayne Gent says that federal
money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
CARES Act enabled the district to create a new position
to check in students and staff.
Not all teachers returned in the fall — or in the same capacity.
Because Donna Gillette of Vero Beach was concerned
about bringing COVID-19 home to loved ones at risk, she
put in her notice at Loving Care Young Achievers Academy,
a private school in Fort Pierce. Instead, the school asked her
to work from home monitoring students using an online program
called Acellus. Gillette logs on for daily meetings, then
monitors students for special needs on which she can focus.
Polarized opinions about masks undoubtedly factored into
some decisions to keep students at home. Masks will be re- >>