Published On: September 19, 2017

The Superintendent took a lot of input from today’s principals’ conference call, and we’re meeting again tomorrow morning @ 11:00 to have an update before he makes the specific announcements on reopening of school.  Concerns for sanitary conditions were priority, as was addressing the anticipated delay for military families and childcare for the young children of employees.  Paramount to everything was the concern for the numbers of MCSD employees and families who have now found themselves without a home; the Red Cross and the National Guard continue to be stationed @ Marathon High School, and some MCSD employees still have their schools serving as distribution centers.  The restoration of our utilities continues to improve as well, for which time has proven to support their rapid progress.  Yesterday Board Chair Briana Castillo and I decided that May Sands Montessori School staff could wait to report until Monday morning, and the same recommendation was put forth by HOB Principal as well during today’s conference call.  The definitive announcement will go out tomorrow, but our district’s staggered start will likely include the Superintendent’s insistence on having staff report to work two days before students arrive.


It appears that we’ll have the extra time needed to return home before heading back to school. In anticipation of the continued progress with stabilizing utilities coupled with the Superintendent’s pending message, Montessori staff will report to work on Monday 9/25, and our students will not report until later in the week – likely Wednesday, September 27.  I will provide clarification tomorrow when I am certain of the Superintendent’s final call, but this delay will give assurance that our basic needs will be met.  


I sent this as part of the staff update, last night:

I am happy to report that our school buildings weathered the storm well and there was no water intrusion in any of our classrooms!  Thanks to Renee for making the rounds in the buildings – she arrived yesterday and is currently helping with our island’s residents and responders who have nursing needs. I am also happy to report that, while we had significant debris in  our outdoor environment, we’ve been fortunate to have a team of first responders led by Patty Thompson (Broadway girls) who is finishing the cleaning efforts today – see before & after photos, below.  We will need to mitigate the holes in our fencing, but that’s certainly a small obstacle, compared to others.   Our friends at Big Pine Key lost classrooms and their school office, not to mention the devastation that wreaked havoc on their community – the district is working to support their recovery efforts, which will take some time, for sure.   I’m encouraged at how the Superintendent has included charters in the recovery process; it’s comforting to know that our district is there for its charters in extremely difficult times.


In addition to the Superintendent’s message, I have also included the Tourist Development Counsel’s latest message for your reference.

* This will be our first Peace Day away from Key West and in light of our geographical separation, I am working on a simple way for each family to consider honoring the International Day of Peace (Thursday – 9/21) –  I will share that tomorrow as well!  (thinking of simple chalk art and photos of your location, coupled with your intentions for peace).

I look forward to sharing good news tomorrow – until then, wishing everyone a peaceful night,

Monroe County officials announced Monday the U.S. Highway 1 checkpoint, established in Florida City after Hurricane Irma, is to be terminated Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.


While road travel to the Keys island chain will be unencumbered for residents, business owners and others needed for the recovery, 21 neighborhoods in the hardest hit areas in the corridor between Marathon and Key West are to be blocked to everyone other than those with proof of residency. 


In addition, Keys officials are still asking vacationers to postpone immediate plans to visit the region. The Keys remain under a state of emergency and recovery efforts are still ongoing, officials stressed, adding that infrastructure has not been fully restored


A decision to reopen the Keys for visitors is to be forthcoming and status updates regarding the resumption of recreational travel to the Keys are to be posted at