INDIAN RIVER COUNTY ― The School District of Indian River County is trying to move on from the COVID pandemic. The section on the district’s website that extensively addressed COVID last year is gone, and the website now has very few mentions of the pandemic. Some precautions, however, remain in place.

The first day of school is Aug. 10. Volunteers, mentors, community partners, and parents/guardians are once again being invited back to all campuses.

All SDIRC students will be automatically enrolled in their brick and mortar school for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents who wish to enroll their students in a virtual option had to enroll with Indian River Virtual School by July 10.

In his July 23 Facebook Live talk, school Superintendent David Moore mentioned that the schools are monitoring changes in the situation, which may lead to changes in the schools’ protocols. He also emphasized how much they have learned from the experience of the last year.

“We are monitoring the current reality as we prepare for the opening of schools,” Dr. Moore said. “We do have a number of systems that we continue to have in place. We learned a great deal last year. Just this week, CVS has donated a significant amount of hand sanitizer, small individual sprays that we will give to each student as they arrive. Hand sanitizer will be available as you enter the campus.”

“We will have the one-way hallways continue. We will sanitize schools each and every single evening. We will continue to implement everything that we learned last year, and continue to look at what the reality is now as we prepare for the opening of schools. We do have a mask optional system that was approved prior to the summer. We will continue to look and update as needed regarding our current reality.”

While Dr. Moore spoke, a slide was displayed titled “COVID Procedures for the 2021-2022 School Year.” The five points listed on that slide are:

• Face coverings will be optional for students and staff during all indoor and outdoor instruction and activities.

• Face coverings will be optional on school transportation.

• Expectations will be taught that negative commentary or treatment of any individual related to their choice to wear a face covering/not wear a face covering will not be tolerated.

• The support of volunteers, mentors, community partners, and parents/guardians will resume on all campuses.

• Fall school orientations will be face-to-face.

“We have spent the last week with our leadership teams of each of our schools really looking at everything that we learned last year, evaluating what went well, what didn’t go so well, where do we need to shift and modify, and how does each school’s leadership team ensure that we’re ready to greet students back,” Dr. Moore said.

Dr. Moore also appealed to community members to become mentors to a 6th or 9th grade student through the district’s new AIM for Success Ambassador Program, which recognizes the big transitions from middle to high school, or from elementary to middle school. Find more info about becoming a mentor on the district’s website.

Dr. Moore gave phone numbers for parents/guardians to call with questions, all 772 area code:

• Student enrollment, 564-6091

• Transportation, 978-8816

• Food and nutrition, 564-4981

• Extended day program, 564-4999

• Exceptional student education, 564-5944

• English for speakers of other languages, 564-3038

• Student affairs, advocacy, and access, 564-3173.

There will be two more Facebook Live sessions before school opening, on July 30 at 9 a.m.; and Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.

For more information or updates, or to view Dr. Moore’s Facebook Live videos, visit www.facebook.com/SchoolDistrictOfIRC/.

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