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Martin County School Board Approves August 11 as First Day of 20-21 School Year

The 2020-2021 school year will begin as originally planned in the Martin County School District, as the Martin County School Board voted last evening to proceed with the established start date of August 11, 2020, as the first day for students. Students will begin the school year participating in either traditional (in-person) or remote learning, depending on the option selected by their parents/guardians. 
 
 
Superintendent Laurie J. Gaylord recommended that the School Board delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year by two weeks on July 21, 2020. That recommendation was tentatively approved by the Board pending approval of the proposed instructional calendar by the Martin County Education Association (MCEA). As no agreement was reached with MCEA that would allow for the postponement of the start date, the school year will proceed according to the established instructional calendar.
 
 
With the first day of school just around the corner, here's what students, parents/guardians and employees need to know:
 
 
 
1) Masks will be required to be worn by students, staff and visitors any time it is not possible to keep the recommended 6 feet of social distance from others. Social distancing cannot be guaranteed and is dependent on the number of students and staff present in any location at a given time. All designs and wording present on masks must adhere to the dress code regulations found in the District’s Code of Student Conduct.
 
 
Students and staff will be provided with instructions on when and how to properly wear, remove and store masks. 
 
Please click the following links to learn more:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Martin County continues to make face coverings available to residents with the generous assistance of local chambers of commerce, the Business Development Board of Martin County (BDB) and County libraries. 
 
Residents can pick up reusable, cloth masks at one of the six Martin County Library branches during normal operating hours, while supplies last. Distribution is limited to 2 masks per person and no more than 8 masks per household. Please click here to learn more. 
 
 
 
 
 
2) The District will offer two learning options for K-12 students next year - Traditional (In School) Learning and Remote Learning.  
 
Parents/guardians who would like their child to return to school in person have not been asked to take any action. Parents who would like their child to participate in remote learning were asked to complete a parent commitment form to select this option. Parents who did not complete a commitment form prior to July 24 but would still like to enroll their child in the remote learning option should contact their child's school for assistance.
 
Students enrolled in early childhood programs will return to school for a full-day program in the fall - remote learning is not an option for Head Start and VPK students.
 
 
 
 
 
3) The District is committed to protecting the health and safety of students and staff. In collaboration with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County (DOH Martin) and our K-12 Pandemic Response Team, staff has developed ten risk mitigation strategies that will help prevent the spread of illness. Please click here to review the strategies. 
 
 
 
 
4) While the District is committed to providing a laptop/Chromebook device to all students, we recently received word that our latest shipment of devices is on backorder.
 
At this time, the following groups of students will be permitted to pick up a device at their school August 5 -7: 
 
  • All students who were enrolled in the remote learning option as of July 24 AND indicated they were not already in possession of a District-issued device when completing the commitment form
 
  • All incoming 9th-grade students (participating in traditional or remote learning)
 
Students who will be attending school in person or whose remote learning commitment form was received after July 24 will be notified about opportunities for device pick-up in the near future. 
 
 
 
 
5) Students who are eligible for transportation as defined in School Board Policy 8600 will continue to be eligible for this service. To be eligible for transportation, students must live more than two (2) miles from their home-zoned school OR be eligible for transportation due to a documented hazardous walking condition (as defined in Chapter 1006.23, Florida Statutes).
 
On February 18, 2020, the Martin County School Board voted to eliminate the seats available and grandfathering programs that previously allowed students who lived less than two (2) miles from their home-zoned school to be eligible for transportation. More information on this decision is available here.
 
 
Bus routes for the 20-21 school year are available here.
 
 
 
6) "Quarantine" and "isolation" are two commonly used terms that mean different things for students and staff. Please click here to review our quarantine and isolation protocols (information may be found on slides 27-32).  Information on the criteria the District will use to transition a classroom/school to remote learning due to the spread of COVID-19 is available on slides 39-43.  
 
 
 
7) Each school will have two clinic settings available for students. "Clinic 1" will be used for students in need of first aid or the dispensing of medication. "Clinic 2" will be available as an isolation clinic for students who are exhibiting symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19. Please click here to learn more (information is available on slides 8-10). 
 
 
 
8) Students must have a current Florida Certificate of Immunization (DH 680) form on file. Parents/guardians who choose not to vaccinate their child must provide the appropriate exemption form (DH 680, DH 681) to their child's school. Please click here to learn more. 
 
 
 
 
9) Meet the Teacher (elementary) and Student Orientation (grades 6 and 9) will be held on August 10, 2020. Additional details will be shared with families by individual schools. Schools will also share supply lists via their websites and social media channels. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's school with questions. 
 
 
 
 
10) Extended Day will be offered at each District-operated elementary school from dismissal - 6 p.m. Parents and employees are encouraged to contact the Extended Day Site Manager at their child's school to inquire about the registration process.  
 
 
 
11) The 2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. This sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 7, 2020, and ends Sunday, August 9, 2020.
 
During this sales tax holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax, including certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item; and the first $1,000 of the sales price of personal computers and certain computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use. Please click here to learn more. 
 
 
 
12) The 20-21 School Year and Uniform Assessment calendars are available on our website. Please click here to learn more. 
 
 
 
Please visit our school reopening webpage to view additional information about learning options, health/safety protocols and answers to frequently asked questions. 
 
Questions that have not been answered on the website may be submitted to MCSDReopening@martinschools.org