Go back to Navigating School in 2021-2022
Updated September 22, 2021
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Pasco County Schools has implemented protocols to maintain a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. Over the past year and a half, the protocols have been revised as circumstances changed.
This school year the protocols are not as restrictive as they were last school year. At this time, some protocols remain in place while some have been revised. It is our goal to find the right balance between safeguarding the health of our students and staff while making the school and work experience as close to normal as possible.
Please note that the information in this document is current as of the date listed above. Circumstances regarding COVID-19 and the variants are rapidly changing, and our school district protocols and guidance may be updated as circumstances change.
Health and Wellness
- Masks are optional in Pasco County Schools. However, the CDC continues to recommend the use of masks. Since CDC guidance is subject to change, we recommend visiting the CDC website for the latest guidance.
- All district employees, students, visitors, and volunteers will conduct a health self-screener prior to reporting to work or school each day. The screeners will be posted at the top of each school website.
- Staff and students will be encouraged to practice social distancing when and where possible.
- Teachers are encouraged to arrange the classroom environment to allow for adequate space between students to the extent possible.
- Enhanced cleaning will continue in all schools.
- Frequently touched surfaces around the campus will be disinfected throughout the day.
- Desks and tables, sinks, drinking fountains, and light switches will be disinfected daily.
- All classroom floors will be fully mopped daily.
- Walls, cabinets, and furniture will be disinfected twice weekly.
- AC filters will be replaced with greater frequency than the pre-pandemic schedule.
- The use of one-way traffic flows inside buildings is encouraged where feasible to improve social distancing of students and staff.
- Cleaning resources (hand sanitizer, soap, germicide) will be regularly replenished.
Individuals Experiencing COVID-Like Symptoms or Illness
Students and staff demonstrating COVID-like symptoms will need to remain away from school and will be able to return to school or work when the following criteria have been met:
- Documentation of a negative PCR COVID-19 test OR
- Verified medical documentation of alternate diagnosis as the cause of symptoms AND
- At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND
- Symptoms have subsided.
Positive Cases or Symptomatic
Students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to return to school or work when the following criteria have been met:
- The student or staff member receives a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test and is asymptomatic; or
- Ten days have passed since the onset of symptoms or positive test result, the student or staff member has had no fever for 24 hours and the student's other symptoms are improving; or
- The student or staff member receives written permission to return to school from a medical doctor licensed under chapter 458, an osteopathic physician licensed under chapter 459, or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed under chapter 464.
Parents who need to report a positive test should notify a school administrator or nurse about the positive test result. The parent will provide a copy of the medical report/test indicating positive result or provide a picture of the test item with the date on which it was administered and the student’s name, along with the date symptoms appeared.
Staff who need to report a positive test will contact their immediate supervisor and provide the date of onset for symptoms (if symptomatic) as well as the positive test result’s report or picture of test with the employee’s name and test administration date.
- The Department of Health will determine which individuals have been in close contact with a positive case. Close contact is defined as within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more.
- The Department of Health will review each case and make a recommendation. Students and staff will not be required to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms.
- When a student has been found to have been in close contact with a positive case, if they are asymptomatic, their parent or legal guardian has the authority to choose whether continue to attend school and school activities, or to quarantine for a period not to exceed seven days from the last contact with the positive person.
- Students who quarantine or isolate will be marked as “present” for attendance purposes during the quarantine period so long as they engage in instruction during the quarantine period.
A student in quarantine should not attend school, attend school activities, or be on school property until the following criteria have been met:
- The student is asymptomatic and receives a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test after four days from the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual; or
- The student is asymptomatic and seven days have passed since the date of last exposure to the COVID-19 positive individual.
- If a student becomes symptomatic following exposure to an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19, the student should follow the procedures in the protocols above for “positive cases or symptomatic.”
Parents are encouraged to review the 2021-2022 Student COVID Related Procedures for a more complete picture regarding when students will and will not be required to quarantine/isolate.
- As general guidance for the 2021-2022 school year, students have two options for instruction, including in-person, on-campus instruction and the Pasco eSchool virtual option. The state has not approved our continued use of the innovative option that was offered last year – mySchool Online.
- When a student enters quarantine they will be able to access learning materials connected to current lessons while at home via myPascoConnect and myLearning. Schools will also use hybrid instructional methods to support the learning at home. Secondary students may also access Smart Tutoring, an online tutoring service within their myLearning courses. Parents and students can contact teachers directly to receive the most accurate instructions on accessing coursework.
- Each quarantine situation will be unique and schools will work with families to develop a plan to ensure instructional continuity.
Parents are encouraged to review the 2021-2022 Student COVID Related Procedures for a more complete picture regarding with instruction while in quarantine/isolation.
- The COVID-19 Daily Report will be updated on the district website each school day. It will report the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases among students and staff. Parents are encouraged to review the Daily Report to stay up to date regarding COVID-19 cases at their student’s school.
- At the elementary school level, parents will be notified of a possible exposure when a student in their child’s class tests positive.
Visitors and Volunteers
- Meetings involving visitors (PTA, SAC, IEP, LEP, 504, parent conferences) will resume and will be conducted virtually when possible.
- Principals will determine when and where volunteers are needed on campus, and will engage them virtually when possible.
- All visitors and volunteers will review a health self-screener prior to visiting a school campus. The screeners will be posted at the top of each school website.
- Masks are optional in Pasco County Schools and on school buses. However, the CDC continues to recommend the use of masks. Since CDC guidance is subject to change, we recommend visiting the CDC website for the latest guidance.
- Only in-county field trips are allowed. Field trips must be co-curricular in nature in order to be approved by the school or district. Academic competitions that involve travel are allowed, subject to approval by the school or district.
- Travel for FHSAA regular season and playoff events, as well as middle school sports, is allowed.
- Athletic events will allow spectators.
- Travel for Special Olympics events is approved.
- Special Olympics is currently requiring athletes to wear masks when they are on buses and when they are indoors.
- Fine arts performances will resume with audiences.
Food and Nutritional Services
- Schools will continue to use disposable wrapped cutlery and trays.
- USDA has extended free breakfast and lunch for all students.
- Students will continue to eat breakfast in the classroom.
- Curbside meal service will no longer be provided.
- When possible, alternative dining space will be made available (commons areas, outdoors, etc.) and supervision will be present in the alternative dining spaces.