Monroe County Schools aim to resume classes soon

MIAMI (WSVN) - Monroe County Schools Superintendent Mark Porter is on a mission to get all 8,600 students living in the Keys back on schedule.

“It’s probably the single biggest step towards normalcy for a community to get their students and their schools back up and functioning,” said Porter.

Porter is responsible for 16 schools — 10 traditional and six charter.

“Actually, the reports are very, very good,” said Porter. “Our buildings are built quite strong. Matter of fact, most of them are used as either shelters or refuges.”

Porter has been working around the clock at the Miami-Dade County Public Schools headquarters, where Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has welcomed him with open arms.

“[There] are times in our lives we need to be our brother’s keeper and be good neighbors,” said Carvalho. “That means we open the doors, extend our resources, our support and our house.”

“I just can’t thank him enough. I’ve been very graciously hosted, provided resources. It’s been tremendous here,” said Porter, “so a real shout-out and a thank you to Superintendent Carvalho and Miami-Dade Public Schools.”

While Miami-Dade offered to take in the Florida Keys students, Porter is confident that Monroe County Schools will be ready for class to resume in some parts of the Keys very soon.

“We will not be able to open the entire Keys. I think, first of all to come online will be the Upper Keys, second will ironically be Key West, and then probably Marathon shortly thereafter,” Porter said.

Some teachers and administrators are still out of town after evacuating, but Porter is hopeful.

“I think we’ll be opening some of our schools as early as the middle portion of next week,” he said.

Porter said he will head back to the Keys on Saturday to work from the islands.

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