Trends In Education
they’re more social — so more likely to spread it,” Miller
Each local district works closely with its county’s health department
regarding contact tracing, but despite drawing up
plans for closures, schools have not been the super-spreaders
some predicted and feared.
Districts ask families to conduct wellness screenings, ask
them to keep children home if feeling unwell, and to help facilitate
testing. Other protective measures include hand sanitizers
and extra cleaning measures. In January, for example,
the Indian River School Board signed off on adding $120,000
for additional custodial services.
Gent says that while schools try to strictly adhere to CDC
guidelines, the challenge has grown as more students return.
Maintaining seating charts, providing expanded lunch times
and increased dining locations, spacing bus riders every
other seat and limiting visitors and volunteers are some of
the ways area schools limit virus transmission.
“Teachers had a learning curve, too,” Gent says. “We stagger
classes to make it easier for them.”
A geometry teacher, for example, might have first period
with all in-school students, followed by second period with all
remote students, an approach he says has benefited teachers.
In Martin, a synchronous learning model means some students
are in class; some are at home.
“This allows the flexibility needed,” Miller says. “Kids
in quarantine or isolation stay on the same education path,
which has proven to benefit students and reduce failure.”
Testing can be problematic.
MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Virtual classrooms enable teachers and students to interact with one another,
even if from a distance.
“We don’t require remote learners to come to campus,”
Moore says. “Our model replicates the classroom experience,
so teachers can monitor them.”
Some schools, such as John Carroll High School in Fort
Pierce, ask remote learners to come in after regular hours for
As if everything else connected to COVID-19 wasn’t
enough, students without electronics or reliable internet are
at an additional disadvantage. Indian River schools set up >>