School District of Indian River County (SDIRC) Superintendent Dr. David Moore announced at the SDIRC General Business Meeting, a new method for tracking when students get office referrals and suspensions at SDIRC schools in the district. This gives the option to drill down the office referrals and suspensions to certain criteria, such as by School, Grade and Race/Ethnicity.
This data is available to the public. You can click here to view the data in real time.
This comes after numerous fights had broken out at the Freshman Learning Center at Vero Beach High School. Below is a post from an Instagram account called tea_at_vbhs that has posted footage of the fights that have gone on at Vero Beach High School. The post was made on February 17th, 2022. Indian River News heavily discourages any form of violence and fight at any of the Schools in Indian River County. The post below is only to show community members a first hand look at what has been going on in the School District.
Dr. Moore said that he has a “number of individuals working on creating mentorship groups, really to address the discipline for students moving forward.”
Dr. Moore praised the transparency of the data.
Dr. Moore pointed out a few months from the 2021-2022 school year where there have been a few discipline spikes, specifically October. He said in his 27 years working in education, he has never seen a spike in October and called it abnormal.
As more data comes in, Dr. Moore wants to continue to grow the amount of data the District has so that they can do more problem solving of the disciplinary issues in the School District.
Dr. Moore pointed out how "as Mrs. [Jackie] Rosario said during the Superintendents Workshop, we will be pushing out major initiatives around bullying into the next school year, as we plan our summer development."
He said the goal is for students to feel safe in school. He is willing to work with not only SDIRC employees, but also community members to address the concerns at our schools.
Dr. Moore had also met with the Executive Board of the local Teachers Union, sharing a "number of outstanding ideas to put in place," working with the Teachers Union to ensure student safety when they’re in school.
Dr. Moore said this data is not normal collecting this kind of data on student discipline and displaying it in the manner SDIRC is making available to the public. He said he does not know of any other school district that has “this much data public facing. That’s a level of accountability.”
Dr. Moore acknowledged pandemic data has not been "fun to look at," he said we want to "dig down" and get to the bottom of the issues that need to be addressed with regard to Student Discipline. This can help for planning for the 2022-2023 school year. He called for the school district and community members to "stand together" and engage in dialogue, to make sure schools are safe for students to attend; he also wants to make sure students understand the expectations for student behavior. Dr. Moore said "we all need to hold ourselves accountable to those specific behaviors."
Local Advocate and local podcast TGI Now Co-Host John Corapi had met with Dr. Moore, School Board Chairman Teri Barenborg (District 4 – Vero Beach) and other School District staff to discuss the issues about student discipline in the School District. Corapi had suggested that the School District create data to track disciplinary issues, similar to what the District created to track COVID-19 cases at SDIRC schools. Dr. Moore had acknowledged that he had worked with John Corapi on this.
Mr. Corapi later spoke during public input at this meeting. He praised the School District for all the "good hard data we’ve been collecting" regarding the disciplinary issues at the schools in Indian River County. He said that there is definitely more work to do.
Mr. Corapi suggested that the data be condensed further to see where there are "hotspots" in the School District for when disciplinary issues occur. He recommended comparing the data between this year and what "we will be going into next year" so the district can prepare for the upcoming school year.
Mr. Corapi said he appreciates the people that met with him regarding the disciplinary issue. He finds more can be done in this situation and would like to make sure all groups that are interested in the disciplinary issue can have be engaged in this issue. He also would like to see the bullying dealt with as well, along with the fights.
Mr. Corapi is looking to continuing to work with the School Board.
Mr. Corapi had also said during his public input that he “hasn’t always agreed with School Board Chairman Teri Barenborg, but would like to “make sure we’re all working together”
Mr. Corapi had called out School Board Member and former School Board Chairman Brian Barefoot about claims that Mr. Barefoot has been working to help another candidate replace Jackie Rosario on the School Board. He said Mr. Barefoot doing this was counter productive.
Mr. Barefoot was previously Mayor of Indian River Shores and President of Babson College.
Mr. Corapi is looking to build further relations with School Board members and "ensure we can work together and make sure we don’t fight one another on that."
We reached out to John Corapi for comment. He told us "I am happy to see the district willing to listen and work on a mitigation strategy that will be beneficial to the residents and parents of Indian River County in reducing the bullying and unnecessary violence that has plagued our parents teachers, staff and students this past school year due to covid stress disorder. There's a lot more work to be done and with the cooperation of the community. I see a positive future and as the districts motto states "Stronger Together" is most important now more than even in the districts history."