Go back to Navigating School in 2021-2022
Updated January 03, 2022
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. 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, with the recent increases in positive COVID-19 cases in our community, we have revisited the protocols again. 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, but strongly encouraged for employees. 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 FDA approved 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
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must report their status to the school administrator and/or school nurse. 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.
The student may return to school when one of the following conditions are met:
- Upon receiving a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test and is asymptomatic;
- 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms or the positive test result, the student has had no fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and the student’s other symptoms are improving;
- The student has received written permission to return to school from a medical doctor or an advanced registered nurse practitioner.
Positive Cases or Symptomatic – Staff
Employees who test positive must report their status to their administrator/supervisor when appropriate. They should 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.
- Employees who test positive should isolate for 5 days from positive test or onset of symptoms (whichever occurred first)
- If asymptomatic or if all symptoms are improving after the 5 days, employee may return to school or the office. Upon return, employee is required to wear a mask for 5 additional calendar days.
- If fever persists past 5 calendar days, remain on isolation until fever resolves (24 hours without fever reducing medicine). Upon return, employee is required to wear a mask for 5 calendar days.
- 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 the student will continue to attend school and school activities, or to isolate for a period not to exceed seven days from the last contact with the positive person.
- Students who quarantine will be marked as “present” for attendance purposes during the quarantine period so long as they engage in instruction during the period of isolation.
- 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.
- The Learning from Home Resource site is still available to support students and families in continuing learning while they may be away from school.
- When a student enters isolation 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.
- 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 continue 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.
- 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. Parents have the option of withdrawing student participation with no penalty.
- 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 continue with audiences. Parents have the option of withdrawing student participation with no penalty.
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.