Summer ends Wednesday for the more than 72,000 public school students on the Treasure Coast, as public school students return to their classrooms.
St. Lucie Public Schools welcomes back the most students, with 40,314 currently enrolled. Martin County School District has 16,629 students enrolled, and River County School District has about 15,300 students enrolled in its traditional schools, not including charter schools.
After two years of COVID-19, the start of the 2022-2023 school year will look different. There's no mask mandate, and quarantines after positive cases have been shortened to five days.
In short, the new school year should be close to pre-pandemic normal.
Districts still have classroom vacancies they hope to fill this week. Martin County has 1,202 teachers and about 15 vacancies, spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo said in an email. St. Lucie County, with 2,974 teachers, has 60 vacancies, spokesperson Lydia Martin said in an email. River County School District still has 20 vacancies, district officials said. Last year, the district had 1,197 teachers.
Some districts may have adjusted start and dismissal times this year. To make sure your child starts the school year on time, check school start times in Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties. A list of St. Lucie schools can be found online here, while a list of Indian River schools is found here.
Drivers should be extra vigilant through school zones, designated by flashing yellow lights. Speed limits school zones is lowered to 15 mph. Speeding can get you a fine starting at $50 for up to 10 miles over the limit.
School districts no longer will cover all free meals for all students as they did during pandemic years. Free and reduced-priced meals are available to students whose family incomes meet federal requirements.
In Indian River County, breakfast costs $1.50. Elementary lunches cost $2.50, and middle and high school lunches cost $2.75. Information can be found on the district website or by calling 772-564-4980.
In Martin County, breakfast costs $1.50. Elementary lunches cost $1.85, and middle and high school lunches cost $2.10. Students at J.D. Parker, Pinewood, Port Salerno and Warfield elementary schools, and at Indiantown Middle, Willoughby Learning Center and Spectrum Academy will continue receiving free breakfast and lunch, regardless of family income. Information is on the district website and by calling 772-223-2655.
St. Lucie schools continues to offer free breakfast for all students. Elementary school lunches cost $2.25 and secondary school lunches cost $2.50. Information can be found online or by calling 772-429-6229.
Bus routes and stops are posted online on each school's website. Indian River County bus routes are online at indianriverschools.org. Martin County routes are online at martinschools.org. Information about St. Lucie County bus routes and rider eligibility is online at stlucie.k12.fl.us.
Students should arrive at their designated bus stops about 10 minutes early. Buses may run late the first few days of school as drivers and students settle into the new school year.
For transportation issues, call 772-978-8801 in Indian River, 772-219-1287 in Martin and 772-204-7433 in St. Lucie.
Indian River County School District general information, 772-564-3000
Martin County School District general information, 772-219-1200
St. Lucie County School District general information, 772-429-3600
Colleen Wixon is the education reporter for TCPalm.com. Contact her at Colleen.Wixon@TCPalm.com or 772-978-2235.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Guide to back to school 2022 in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River county