Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Please note - responses to questions are subject to change in accordance with evolving public health guidance and/or directives issued by the Florida Department of Education.  The safety of students and staff is the top priority of the Martin County School District.

Last Updated: August 20, 2021

To submit additional questions that have not been answered on this page, please email MCSDReopening@martinschools.org.

Instructional Information

  1. What are my enrollment options for the 2021-2022 school year? The Martin County School District will make a full return to in-person learning in the 2021-2022 school year. Students attending District-operated schools will attend classes on campus each day. Florida Virtual School remains an option for families seeking a non-traditional alternative.


  2. Why would the District choose to discontinue the remote learning option? The expiration of the Florida Department of Education's Emergency Order 2020-EO-07 discontinued the ability of districts to continue offering innovative learning options, including remote learning.


  3. What will happen if my child is ill and needs to stay home from school? How will they keep up with their coursework? If a student is unable to attend school due to being directed to quarantine or isolate, instructional materials and coursework will be available to them via the Schoology or Google Classroom platforms. Students will access the appropriate learning platform for the duration of their quarantine/isolation period using their District login credentials and the ClassLink portal. Please click the appropriate link to access instructions: English / Spanish.

    If a student is absent due to illness but has not been directed to quarantine or isolate, they will follow the makeup work procedures outlined in the
    Student Progression Plan.


  4. What types of accommodations are available for students with special needs? Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 plans are provided services determined by their IEP/504 team to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Reasonable accommodations for students with IEPs and 504 plans will be provided as appropriate.


  5. My child is now extremely accustomed to using his/her District-issued learning device. Will he/she be able to use this device in the new school year? Yes. Students will retain their access to their District-issued laptops/Chromebooks. The District's Educational Technology (ET) Department will continue to provide tech support for hardware and software issues. Questions should be directed to MCSDLaptops@martinschools.org.


  6. I have been hearing a lot about MOSAIC. Why is the District not including this as an available learning option? MOSAIC is a virtual learning option operated by St. Lucie County Public Schools.  While it is available to students residing in Martin and St. Lucie counties, Martin County students electing to participate in the program do not retain their enrollment in the Martin County School District - they are instead enrolled in St. Lucie County Public Schools.  


  7. Where can I access the school supply list for my child's school? United Way of Martin County will provide every elementary student with the most needed supplies for the school year. Middle and high school students will be provided with supplementary supplies. To view lists of additional supplies that will help support students' learning experiences this year, please click here.


  8. Where can I find information about the dress code for my child's school? Please click here to access dress code requirements. Please note that individual schools may have a stricter dress code that has been approved by the School Advisory Council (SAC). Please contact your child's school with specific questions.


  9. If my child is directed to quarantine by the Florida Department of Health, will this affect their attendance record? Per the Florida Department of Education's Emergency Rule 6AER21-01, students' days in quarantine count as an educational activity for attendance purposes. Students will also have access to instructional materials and instructors to assist them with their assignments while they are in quarantine. Instructions for accessing these materials are available here: English / Spanish. Please click here to access information for quarantined students.


  10. I have heard about Florida's new Parents' Bill of Rights, as well as a statutorily-required moment of silence that will be held in schools each day. Where can I find more information about these topics? Both of these items are included in our 2021-2022 Code of Student Conduct. To view specific information, please click one or both of the following links:

Health and Safety

FDOH Quarantine Decision Tree

Quarantine Decision Tree - Spanish

  1. Will students and staff be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19? Vaccinations will be optional and voluntary for students and staff. Although immunization is not required, COVID-19 vaccines are available for individuals aged 12 and up in Martin County through the Florida Department of Health (DOH), pediatricians' offices and pharmacies. As long as they remain asymptomatic, the Florida Department of Health does not require fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine following close contact with a positive case (see DOH Rule 64DER21-12). The Florida Department of Health does not require asymptomatic individuals who have been infected within the previous 90 days to quarantine following contact with a positive case. The Florida Department of Health's protocols for unvaccinated or symptomatic students who have been exposed to a positive case are outlined above.


  2. Where can my child obtain a vaccine? Though not required for school entry, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County (DOH Martin) is offering free vaccinations for everyone aged 12 and older. Many local physicians' offices and pharmacies are offering vaccinations as well. Immunization appointments are available with DOH Martin by calling 772-221-4000, option #3. To view upcoming vaccination events operated by DOH Martin, please click here. To view vaccine locations in our local area, please click here.


  3. Will the District ask students or employees about their vaccination status? The District will not ask students or employees about their vaccination status. The Florida Department of Health maintains vaccination records for the state and will use this information in making quarantine/isolation decisions. While not a requirement, parents/caregivers may provide COVID-19 vaccination records to their child's school if they would like to do so.


  4. Can I find out the vaccination status of my child's teacher or any other employee at their school? No. Recent guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that information about an employee's COVID-19 vaccination status is confidential pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (see question K.4.).


  5. Will students, staff and visitors be required to wear masks? Masks will be optional and voluntary for students, staff and visitors. In the event of an unusually high spike in cases of change in pandemic circumstances, the Martin County School Board may adjust this protocol as necessary. For those choosing to wear one, masks will be available for students, staff and visitors at each site. Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-175 regarding masks in Florida school districts on July 30, 2021. Read more here...


  6. Will the District practice social distancing? Social distancing may be implemented when possible. Seating charts will continue to be required for classrooms and school buses. Seating charts may be required for cafeterias if necessary.


  7. Will the District continue to prioritize cleaning and sanitization of all sites? The District will continue to provide EPA-approved disinfectants to every site for enhanced cleaning. The District will continue to perform enhanced cleaning procedures following incidents of reported cases. Facilities will continue to be equipped with the appropriate MERV filters for increased filtration.


  8. I've heard that the Florida Department of Health will require unvaccinated students and staff to quarantine following close contact with a positive case, but fully vaccinated students and staff will not have to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. Please explain this further. The Martin County School District does not make quarantine or isolation decisions for individuals- these are carried out at the direction of the Florida Department of Health (DOH), which is also the agency that maintains vaccination records for the state. More information about DOH quarantine protocols is available here. Questions about the maintenance of vaccination records or quarantine/isolation should be directed to DOH Martin at (772) 221-4000.


  9. Couldn't the District set its own protocol about vaccines and quarantines? Why does the Florida Department of Health have a say in how the District handles this? The District is legally obligated to follow the Florida Department of Health's (DOH) directives related to quarantine/isolation protocols. This is outlined in sections 252.36, 381.0031 and 381.00315, Florida Statutes. The District does not make any determinations about which individuals must quarantine or isolate - these decisions are made entirely by the DOH.

  10. If I have been told that the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is quarantining my child, how do I know when they can come back to school? How will the District ensure they are able to keep up academically while they are home? Please click here to view our resource page for quarantined students. Information about academic support and the FDOH's quarantine protocols are covered in detail.


  11. Will staff and/or visitors undergo temperature screenings? Screening/temperature checks may be required of persons entering District sites. Any person with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entry. Training related to the identification of COVID-19 symptoms is provided for staff to assist in the monitoring of student and employee health.


  12. What if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? The Martin County School District works directly with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County (DOH Martin) on staff and student illnesses as it relates to COVID 19.  The District will provide seating charts and other requested information as DOH Martin conducts the case investigation process. Questions about protocols related to contact tracing, quarantine and isolation should be directed to DOH Martin at (772) 221-4000.


  13. What steps will be taken to ensure surfaces are clean? How often will classrooms, communal areas and school buses be cleaned? Operations and custodial staff will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day.


  14. What other steps are being taken to ensure a healthy environment?
    In conjunction with DOH Martin, the District continues to emphasize the importance of frequent hand washing, practicing healthy habits and social distancing when possible. Hand sanitizer will be made available to students, staff and visitors at all sites. Masks will be available at all sites for those who choose to wear one. Any student or employee who is experiencing symptoms of illness should remain home until they have been symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of medication.


  15. Will parents and volunteers be allowed on campus? The District is pleased to welcome visitors and registered volunteers back to campuses. Visitors and volunteers must comply with all directions from site administrators related to health and safety (i.e. School Board-approved risk mitigation strategies). Visitors and volunteers, including parents and guardians, do not have unrestricted access to District property and must remain in approved areas only. Masks will be optional and voluntary for visitors and volunteers. The District will continue to provide masks for those choosing to wear one. Social distancing will be encouraged to the extent possible.


  16. Will schools host Back to School meet the teacher events and 6th/9th-grade orientations in person? Yes. More information about these events is available here. Lunch and bus transportation for eligible students will be provided for our 6th and 9th grade orientation sessions.


  17. What are the immunization requirements this year? While the COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary/optional, the Florida Department of Health does require certain vaccines to be administered before children may enroll in and attend school. Students enrolled in District-operated schools must have a current Florida Certificate of Immunization (DH 680) form on file in accordance with Florida Department of Health regulations. Parents/guardians who choose not to vaccinate their child in accordance with the Florida Department of Health's requirements must provide the appropriate exemption form (DH 680, DH 681) to their child's school. Please click here to learn more. 


  18. How do I know if I should keep my child home from school? What symptoms should I look for?
    Parents should review our symptom checker/ verificación de síntomas to help them assess their child's symptoms on a daily basis.  The District is also planning to unveil a version of this tool for the App Store and Google Play.


  19. If I believe my child has symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do? Our symptom checker/ verificación de síntomas tools are great resources for identifying a variety of health symptoms and determining the next steps. If you believe your child has been exposed to COVID-19 or if they are experiencing COVID-related symptoms, please contact their healthcare provider for direction or arrange for testing. Please click here to view local COVID-19 testing locations.


  20. If my child has tested positive for COVID-19, should I let the school know? If I am an employee, should I report a positive test result to my supervisor? The voluntary reporting of positive test results greatly expedites the Florida Department of Health's contact tracing process. If you wish to report a positive test result for your child during normal business hours, please contact your child's school. If you are an employee, please contact your supervisor or the Office of Risk Management. If you wish to report a positive test result outside of normal business hours, please call our established COVID-19 hotline at (772) 260-8071.


  21. If my child has tested for COVID-19 using an at-home test kit, will this be recognized as a valid test result? DOH Martin does not accept home test kit results as documentation that would allow a student to end quarantine early or as proof of having/ not having COVID-19. DOH Martin encourages anyone who has used an at-home test kit to receive a confirmatory test via a pharmacy or their healthcare provider.


  22. How will I be notified about positive cases at my child's school? Parents/caregivers of students who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will receive personal phone calls with health-related instructions. Our COVID-19 dashboard is updated twice daily to keep all families informed about cases/quarantines throughout the District. Please note that as they are not operated by the School District, information related to positive cases and quarantines at charter or private schools is not included on the dashboard.


  23. What is the quarantine protocol for employees? Employees must monitor their symptoms and remain home from work when they are ill. Masks and vaccinations are voluntary for employees. As long as they remain asymptomatic, the Florida Department of Health does not require fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine following close contact with a positive case. The Florida Department of Health does require unvaccinated individuals to quarantine following close contact with a positive case. In accordance with these protocols, fully vaccinated employees will not be sent home if exposed to COVID-19 unless they exhibit symptoms.


    The District will no longer provide employees with paid leave for COVID-19 exposure or infection
    . Employees will be required to use their own sick or vacation time if directed to quarantine or isolate by the Florida Department of Health due to exposure or infection. If an employee is directed by the Florida Department of Health to quarantine or isolate and does not have leave time available, they will remain home from work in unpaid status for the duration of the quarantine or isolation period. In addition, all provisions related to remote work (telework) for employees have been suspended.


  24. Where can I get a COVID-19 test for my child? What types of tests will the Florida Department of Health accept? Families may elect to have their child tested for COVID-19 via a rapid (antigen) or PCR (diagnostic) test. The Florida Department of Health does not accept home test kit results as documentation that would allow a student to end quarantine early or as proof of having/not having COVID-To locate a testing center near you that offers the PCR/rapid test, please click here.


    To view upcoming testing availability at the local DOH Martin office, please click here.

Mental Wellness

  1. If my child is anxious or concerned about returning to school, what can I do to help?
    Be honest.  Talk about some of the changes in routine they may expect as they return to school, particularly if they participated in remote learning last year.  Remind children about the positives – that they will be able to see their friends and teachers and continue learning new things.  Reassure children about the risk mitigation strategies in place that will help keep them healthy, and remind them that they can also help prevent germs from spreading by washing their hands with soap and coughing or sneezing into their elbow.  As a family, determine what additional risk mitigation strategies may be appropriate for your child.


  2. Has staff received any extra training regarding trauma-informed care and mental health first aid as a result of COVID-19? Youth Mental Health first aid training has been provided.  Trauma-informed practices will continue across school sites.  The District continues to support administrators and teachers as they implement approved practices related to Social Emotional Learning.


  3. What community resources are available to my family? Tykes & Teens has launched its latest free video series, Mental Health Matters -Returning with Resilience, on its Facebook page. Fifteen-minute video segments with leading mental health experts, educators and students that will include conversations with practical tips, tools and resources to help parents and students navigate back into a routine and emerge from the pandemic with resilience. Please click one or more of the following links to access episodes:

  • Episode 1: Coming Out of the Woods

    • What can we expect as we emerge from the pandemic and return to in-person school and activities?  This episode features practical tips and resources to support your child coming out of the pandemic strong and in good mental health.  Featured experts are:

      • Eric Garza, MHA, LCSW – Tykes & Teens CEO

      • Jay Biscanin, M.A., CBHCMS – Tykes & Teens Manager of Targeted Case Management, Certified Wraparound Coach and Facilitator, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

  • Episode 2: Feeling Anxious? You're Not Alone

    • Overwhelmed/stressed about going back to in-person school and activities?  This episode features tips on how to best prepare, anxiety signs for parents and students to look for, and how to move forward with resiliency. Alethia DuPont, Psy. D. – Tykes & Teens' Director of Outpatient Services is the featured expert.

  • Episode 3: Depressed or Just Down?

    • How can parents/caregivers support a child who is experiencing depression?  How do you know if your child is depressed or just down?  How do you know when to reach out for professional help?  This episode features signs to look for and tools to create a resilient return. Tamie Gilarski, LCSW, RPT-S – Tykes & Teens' School-Based Program Coordinator, Psychotherapist, Play Therapist Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor is the featured expert.

  • Episode 4: Creating Routines for Stability

    • This episode features tips for developing routines that create stability and resiliency as your child returns to in-person school and activities. Featured experts are:

      • Andrea Greenlee, LCSW – Tykes & Teens Director of School Based Services and Psychotherapist

      • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator

      • Hannah Greenlee – A “Changing Vibes, Changing Lives” Student Perspective

  • Episode 5: Practical Steps for Students

    • This episode provides practical steps from an educator's perspective on how students can overcome any stress and anxiety they may have about returning to in-person school. Featured experts are:

      • Dorothy Oppenheiser – Tykes & Teens Director of Prevention Services

      • Monique Coleman, MS – Tykes & Teens Prevention Coordinator

      • Anthony Ferro – Jensen Beach High School Teacher

  • Episode 6: Enhancing Young Children & Family Resilience

    • This episode provides tools for childcare staff and parents to support children ages 0-5 through day-to-day transitions as they start or return to school. This episode's featured expert is Elizabeth Appleton, Director of Childcare Mental Health Consultation for Tykes & Teens.

Tykes & Teens flyer

Food & Nutrition

  1. What will the school meal program look like this school year?
    Free breakfasts and lunches will continue to be available to all children aged 18 and under this school year
    . Free suppers and snacks will be available to children attending a District-operated elementary school as well as Indiantown Middle School. Even though meals will be free for all students, families are still encouraged to complete a school meal application form.  The completion of these forms ensures the District continues to be eligible for specific types of funding.  Questions should be directed to the Food & Nutrition Services Department at AskFNS@martinschools.org.


  2. What steps will be taken to limit exposure in school cafeterias? Schools will utilize available space (including outdoor areas if appropriate) in an effort to promote social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available in all dining areas. Point of Service for purchasing meals will be touchless - high school students and students attending Hidden Oaks Middle School will be able to use credit/debit cards to purchase a la carte meal items if desired.  Food & Nutrition Services staff will continue to implement best practices according to industry standards.


  3. While I understand all meals will be free for students, how do I submit a meal application to ensure the District continues to be eligible for much-needed funding? Thank you for taking the time to complete this very important process. Meal applications continue to be paperless and are available here


  4. May I pay for my child's meals online? Yes.  Parents/guardians are encouraged to skip cash and pay student meals online via myschoolbucks.com. Money previously submitted through K12PaymentCenter will be transferred to the student's new account.




Questions? Please visit the Food & Nutrition Services Department's webpage, call (772) 223-2655 or email AskFNS@martinschools.org

FNS Meal Update

Transportation

  1. Will students be required to wear masks on school buses? No. Masks are voluntary/optional for students and staff this school year. In the event of an unusually high spike in cases of change in pandemic circumstances, the School Board may adjust this protocol as necessary. Masks will be available for individuals choosing to wear one.


  2. Will social distancing be practiced on school buses? Social distancing is difficult to guarantee, particularly on school buses. Students should expect to share their seat with at least one other child depending on eligible ridership. Students are encouraged to practice social distancing to the extent possible at bus stops.


  3. What steps will be taken to limit exposure on school buses? The risk of exposure to COVID-19 increases during times when social distancing is difficult, including while on school buses. Hand sanitizer will be available on buses and students will be encouraged to use when entering/exiting the bus. Buses will continue to be disinfected with electronic sprayers.


  4. Where can I find bus routes? Bus routes for the 21-22 school year are available here. Adjustments to routes are subject to change based on actual ridership. Students are expected to board and exit their bus each day using their school-issued IDs. More information about how our student ID cards are used to assist with contact tracing is available here.

Technology

  1. If I don’t currently have a District-issued device for my child(ren), can I obtain one?

    Students who are in need of a device should contact their child's school for more information. 


  2. Will the District support my child’s device if we choose to use one from home?

    Personal devices may be used, but will not be subject to support from District staff.  

    Parents/guardians who would like to purchase a device that is consistent with a District device should be mindful of these specifications:


    HP Chromebook 11A G8 EE, A4-9120C APU (1.6GHz, 1 MB L2 cache)

    4 GB 1866 (on Mb), 32GBeMMC

    11.6 LED HD SVA AG (non-touch screen)

    UMA: Radeon R4

    No Optical

    802.11 ac 2x2 +BT 4.2

    BT

    TPM H1

    Slot Lock

    720p HD webcam

    Chrome OS

    2-Cell 47.6WHr

    4 year warranty (1 year warranty included + 3 year warranty uplift)

  3. My child's District-issued device is not working. How do I request tech support?
    Please email MCSDLaptops@martinschools.org for assistance with your child's District-issued device.

Events, Extracurricular Activities & Athletics

  1. Will my child’s school host sporting events, arts/theater performances, orientations and meet the teacher/curriculum nights?
    The District will hold in-person meet the teacher, 6th/9th-grade orientation and curriculum nights. Specific details about these events will be shared by individual schools. Outdoor activities continue to be preferred when possible. Specific events may require capacity limits based on the type of activity and expected number of attendees. Field trips will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through the Office of Risk Management.

  2. Will student-athletes be required to wear masks?

    Masks will be voluntary for student-athletes, but those who wish to wear a mask may do so.

  3. Will parents/guardians and other spectators be allowed to attend athletic events? The District is pleased to welcome parents/guardians, visitors and spectators back to campuses. Visitors must comply with all directions from site administrators related to health and safety. Masks will be voluntary and social distancing will be encouraged to the extent possible. Events may require limited capacity based on the type of activity and expected number of attendees.

Extended Day

  1. Will the District have Extended Day next year? If so, which schools will offer this service and what are the hours of operation? How do I register?
    All 12 elementary schools will offer after-school extended day programs.  The hours will be from school dismissal until 6 p.m.  Registration is underway. Please click here for more information. Employees- please contact the Office of Extended Day Programs at (772) 219-1200 ext. 30339 to inquire about reduced rates for children of employees.