Martin County School Board Weighs Future of High School Pool and Virtual Program Expansion

The Martin County School Board convened to deliberate on the future of the Martin County High School pool and the expansion of the virtual school program. The meeting saw public input advocating for the preservation of the pool, and discussions on the establishment of a virtual school program that could potentially include new courses such as driver’s education, hope, and Spanish.

The fate of the Martin County High School pool was a focal point of the meeting, with multiple community members voicing their support for keeping the facility operational. Rich Shanborne underscored the pool’s positive community impact, while Dick Landrgood presented a proposal from The Martin County Masters team members endorsing the pool’s continued use, stressing the importance of swimming programs and the need for a second competitive pool in the area. Heather Rogers highlighted the significance of swimming lessons and the logistical challenges of accommodating multiple schools with only one pool available. Audrey Mims also advocated for the pool, citing personal and community benefits.

In parallel to the pool discussion, Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, director of curriculum and instruction, presented a proposal for a virtual school program within the district. Dr. Kennedy’s presentation provided a comprehensive analysis of the current funding, student completions in the Florida Virtual School (FLVS), and the costs associated with initiating a local virtual school. Exploring the possibility of franchising with FLVS, the presentation highlighted the financial and educational advantages of such a partnership.

Furthering the virtual school program discourse, the potential addition of driver’s education, hope, and Spanish courses was considered. The board scrutinized the estimated budget and teacher allocation, alongside the expected financial impact of these additions. Questions were raised about appealing to a broader student base, including homeschoolers, charter, and private school students in Martin County, and the administrative process for their integration and funding.

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Policy discussions also took center stage, with several school board policies undergoing scrutiny. Proposed changes to policies 1242 and 3242 on professional learning, as well as policy 2120 on School Improvement, were debated. Proposed revisions included adding language to address unexcused absences in the early warning system and removing redundant language related to definitions of homeless youth. The board sought to refine the policies to enhance their accuracy and effectiveness.

Attention turned to policy 5136, concerning wireless communication devices. Members expressed concerns about students using phones during school hours for non-matters and the consequent enforcement challenges. The policy decision was deferred, pending input from the code of conduct committee. The board also reviewed policies on student progression, promotion, graduation requirements, and care of school property, accepting most recommendations with a few exceptions. Policies on bullying and harassment and the use of social media were postponed, with the latter awaiting potential legislative changes.

The board acknowledged the need for policies to align with professional standards and the impact of legislative changes on safety and security. Future meetings were cited as the venues for finalizing policy decisions, with an emphasis on providing the community with more detailed information on the high school pool project.

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Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Michael Maine
School Board Officials:
Christia Li Roberts, Marsha B. Powers, Jennifer Russell, Amy B. Pritchett, Michael DiTerlizzi, Austin Connelly (Student Representative, Jensen Beach High School)

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