32963 Homepage

Want to purchase reprints of your favorite 32963 or photos?

Copies of Vero Beach 32963 can be obtained at the following locations:


Our office HQ: (located at 4855 North A1A)
1. Corey's Pharmacy
2. 7-Eleven

(South A1A)
3. Major Real Estate Offices


1. Vero Beach Book

2. Classic Car Wash
3. Divine Animal
4. Sunshine Furniture

5. Many Medical

Pandemic produced a school year ‘like no other’

STORY BY GEORGE ANDREASSI (Week of June 3, 2021)

A student tested positive for COVID-19 at Storm Grove Middle School on the second-to-last day of classes as the pandemic impacted virtually every aspect of the 2020-2021 school year.

Two other students and two staff members also tested positive for the virus last week as Indian River County’s public schools closed for summer vacation.

Altogether, the school district reported 506 cases of COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year with 390 students and 116 staff members testing positive for the virus.

The 390 student cases amounted to less than 3 percent of the approximately 14,000 students who attended class in person during the school year, district records show.

The 116 staff cases amounted to nearly 6 percent of the district’s roughly 2,000 employees.

The school year “like no other” started with a Vero Beach High School football player being diagnosed with COVID-19 on the first day of classes on Aug. 28, causing the quarantining of several teammates and cancelation of the season opening game at Venice.

Vero Beach High Principal Shawn O’Keefe was treated for the virus at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in February and Florida Department of Health reports showed the school ranked in the top 10 in the state for COVID-19 cases for part of the year.

As of May 22, Vero Beach High ranked 12th in COVID-19 cases among approximately 200 public high schools in Florida, a May 28 state Health Department report says.

But the number of COVID-19 cases at the county’s largest public institution never came close to the threshold that would have prompted administrators to consider shutting down the school.

The school district reported a total of 60 students and 13 staff members at VBHS tested positive for COVID-19 during the school year for a total of 73 cases.

Another 26 students and four staff members tested positive for the virus at the nearby Freshman Learning Center during the school year.

Sebastian River High Schools had a total of 76 COVID-19 cases involving 71 students and five staff members during the school year. All but 20 of those cases were during the second half of the year.

The school district reported a total of 12 COVID-19 cases at Beachland Elementary involving seven students and five staff members.

There were another 126 cases at the district’s five charter schools involving 106 students, eight staff members and 12 with unknown positions as of May 22, the state Health Department report shows.

In addition, the state Health Department reported a total of 96 cases of COVID-19 in eight private schools in Indian River County as of May 22, including 75 students, 12 staff members and nine with unknown positions.

St. Edward’s School, a private school on Vero Beach’s barrier island serving grades K-12, accounted for 33 cases, the state Health Department report says. A total of 25 students, six staff members and two with unknown positions were diagnosed with the virus.

Students and staff at the county’s schools were required to wear masks and practice social distancing throughout the school year.

At the beginning of the year, about a third of students opted to study remotely online, but by the end of the year that number had been cut in about half, with 84 percent of the district’s 17,000 students attending school in person.