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DRAFT LETTER December 16, 2020

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis


The Capitol
400 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Commissioner Richard Corcoran


Florida Department of Education
Turlington Building, Suite 1514
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Dear Honorable Governor DeSantis and Honorable Commissioner Corcoran:

On August 11, 2020, the Martin County School District opened the doors of their brick and mortar
schools and welcomed students back after the mandated Spring facilities’ closures due to Covid-19. Our
Approved Reopening Plan for 2020-21 gave families a choice of instructional delivery: in-person, at
school instruction or synchronous instruction livestreamed from the students’ regularly scheduled
classrooms. The number of students that are benefitting from live instruction continues to grow weekly
and, as of December 11, 2020, we now have 73.4% of our students in school and 26.6% participating
remotely. Our data clearly shows that in-person instruction is more effective and beneficial than remote
learning. Using published, daily-updated dashboards and personal contacts, this information is being
shared with students and parents to encourage and promote in-person attendance as the preferred
instructional model for higher learning gains.

We understand the importance of having schools open to assist with the economic recovery of our
community and meet the academic and mental wellness needs of the 16,655 students that we serve.
We are requesting your assistance to continue to meet these challenges. As Florida receives their
designated allocation of Covid-19 vaccines, we respectfully request that personnel with direct student
contact be considered for priority to receive the vaccine. That would greatly help us to minimize the
disruptions caused by the required isolation or quarantining of employees that impacts our ability to
provide reliable, high-quality instruction for our students.

Thank you both for your leadership and consistent communication during these uncertain times.

On behalf of the Martin County School Board,

Marsha Powers, Chair