Family Information Guide for ReOpening

2020-2021


Guiding Tenets for Decision Making

  • Social distancing will be enforced wherever possible.
  • The wearing of a masks and/or face shields is required at all times while on school property, facilities, and/or engaged in school activities, except when social distancing is possible.
  • All elementary students in a given class will create a cohort group, and not physically interact with other classes of students in the building, to the extent possible.
  • All school buildings will be cleaned thoroughly after school and during the day. Ongoing cleaning protocols will be implemented. Buses will be sanitized after all morning drop offs and at the end of the day. Cleaning protocols will be implemented between runs.
  • Sick employees and students will be required to remain at home.
  • Large gatherings will be limited to numbers that allow for social distancing.

NOTE: For the purposes of this document, face masks, face coverings and face shields may be used interchangeably. Please be advised that the information in this document is current as of the date above. Circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are rapidly changing, and the accuracy of the information may change moving forward.

The New School Day

Health and Wellness

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding health and wellness:

  • All staff will receive COVID-19 training (include transmission, prevention and use of mask) with opportunity for Q & A.
  • Daily staff screener will be implemented.
  • Staff will wear masks, when social distancing is not possible.
  • In conjunction with the Department of Health, we have established expectations and procedures for notification of illness.
  • District signage posted describing signs/symptoms, proper handwashing, social distancing, and when to stay home.
  • Frequent promotion of daily hygiene and social distancing measures throughout the school building.

What you can do to support the health and wellness of your student, their peers, and school staff:

  • Be informed about the district’s plan for reopening and ask questions to clarify procedures.
  • Be patient and understanding when plans and procedures need to change to keep students and staff safe.
  • Inform the school as soon as a positive COVID test result occurs with any members of my family.
  • Follow health care provider or health department directives regarding the need for quarantine or isolation for you or your family.
  • Screen your child daily prior to coming to school and report illness concerns immediately.
  • Adhere to the district procedures regarding student’s exclusion from school and return to class after illness.
  • Avoid any after school face-to-face social interactions between my child and their peers unless CDC guidelines are followed.
  • Speak with your provider regarding the importance of flu vaccination this season to avoid absences.
  • Reinforce/educate your child on proper handwashing, covering your cough or coughing into a Kleenex, when to wear a mask, and how to social distance.
  • Provide your school with current contact numbers to assist in open communication between school and home.
  • Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise, and develop good sleeping habits.
  • Provide your child with an age appropriate explanation of COVID-19 and ask what questions they may have to ensure they have accurate information and to relieve their fears.
  • Practice ways your child can greet/interact with peers that does not involve contact.
  • Screen your children for symptoms prior to going to school each day.
  • Provide personal mask and hand sanitizer for your children.
  • Encourage your student to wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, and follow good general hygiene practices. Educate your children to consistently self-regulate their behaviors in following CDC and school guidelines for the safety of themselves, other students, and staff. Educate them about hand washing, social distancing, refraining from touching others, and refraining from touching their faces.
  • Update parent contact information provided to the school.
  • Keep your children home if they are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Actively monitor your student’s health daily for any changes or concerns.

Additional General Information - Nebulizers

Due to limited availability of data, it is uncertain whether aerosols generated by nebulizer treatments are potentially infectious. During this COVID-19 pandemic, nebulizer treatments during school hours will be suspended and we will work with parents and pediatricians to provide students with alternate procedures (e.g., inhaler with spacer).

Mental Health and Wellness

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding mental health and wellness:

  • Pasco County Schools is aware that all of our students and families have been impacted in some way by COVID, and we are prepared to continue to support our students when they return in the fall regardless of which of the three-options selected.
  • Resources are available to assist your student with mental health needs, this ranges from direct support from our school counselors, social workers, psychologist and school nurses as well as linking your child with community resources if needed.
  • There will be more frequent student check-in occurring in the fall to ensure students aren’t missed who may need additional emotional or mental health support.

What you can do to support the mental health and wellness of your student, their peers and school staff:

  • It’s important to understand that we are all in this pandemic together, just as your family has been impacted by COVID: your student’s classmates, teachers, administrators and all school staff have been impacted as well. The safety and wellbeing of our community is extremely important as we begin to prepare to reopen our schools.  New procedures and ways of work will be established to ensure safety in our schools, as the ongoing support of our families is important.

Facility and Safety

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding the facility and safety:

  • Social distancing will be maintained where possible. One-way traffic flows inside buildings may be created where feasible to improve social distancing of students and staff.
  • Everyone will be collectively responsibility for cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Enhanced daily and weekly cleaning activities, including disinfecting touch points around the campus throughout the day.
  • Increased frequency of changing AC filters.
  • Spray bottles of germicide and microfiber cloths placed in each classroom. Cloths will be washed daily.
  • Hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic locations where hand washing is not available.
  • An isolation room at each school for students exhibiting symptoms.

Food and Nutrition Services

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Food and Nutrition Services:

  • More frequent sanitation on high touch points in the serving line including tray slide, milk box, and the keypad; elementary will be sure to sanitize between classes/cohorts.
  • Social distancing decals/tape on the floor throughout the serving line.
  • Hand Sanitizer will be available after the point of sale in the dining room and by vending machine locations.
  • Cafeteria tables will continue to be sanitized between lunches.
  • More frequent sanitation in the cafeteria (door handles etc.).
  • An established enter/exit flow of the cafeteria.
  • FNS employees will be required to wear masks in addition to the already established health and safety protocols based on Health Department guidelines.
  • Breakfast will be consumed in the classroom.
  • Continued use of disposable cutlery and trays.
  • All condiments will be in pre-portioned packages and not in self-serve dispensers.
  • There will be streamlined menu offerings in order to promote efficiency through the serving line.
  • Reduced cafeteria capacity as determined by individual school site administrators. Each school campus is unique and multiple factors such as enrollment, campus layout, and size of cafeteria will be factors that assist in what strategy is selected to reduce cafeteria capacity. Examples of plans may include the addition of lunch periods and/or additional dining options outside of the cafeteria.
  • If you prefer that your child does not handle cash and/or check for the payment of their meal you can place money on your child’s meal account at https://www.myschoolbucks.com/ver2/login/getmain.

Transportation

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Transportation:

  • Eligible students choosing to participate in school transportation will continue to receive transportation services similar to years past. As a result of the current health concern, students utilizing transportation are expected to wear a face covering while being transported and follow seating directions from school bus staff.
  • School buses will be sanitized twice daily and have high-touch areas wiped in between groups transported.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been installed on school buses for student use.

Ensuring a World Class Education

Technology

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Technology:

If you choose the mySchool Online option and you do not have devices at home or internet service:

  • You can request equipment from your children’s school(s) to the extent the District has devices available.
  • If you have more than one child, you will need a device for each child.

What you can do to support the education of your student with Technology:

If you can provide a device for your child, below are the devices that support the curriculum.

  • iPad 5th Generation or newer
  • iPad Air 3rd Generation or newer
  • iPad mini 4 or newer, MacBook Ai r(Mac OS 10.14 or newer)
  • iPad Pros
  • iPhone 6s and newer(iPhones will not support all applications, but can be used for some work)
  • Updated Windows 10 devices
  • Laptops will provide a better experience than an iPad or other tablet

If you would like to purchase one like the ones the District is purchasing the specifications are below:

  • Dell Latitude 3190 2-in-1
  • Intel Pentium N5000
  • 8GB 2400MHz LPDDR4
  • M.2 128GB SATA Class20 Solid State Drive
  • Touch Screen

Instructional Programming

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding K12 Instructional Programming:

  • Throughout the Summer and teacher planning week the district has worked to ensure all teachers and administrators have had access to professional learning that prepared them for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Throughout the summer teams of teachers and district leaders are working collaboratively to design high quality curriculum and learning experiences that can be implemented in both the traditional and mySchool Online learning model.
  • Teachers and students will use the same resources including a myLearning Canvas Course in the Traditional and mySchool Online setting to allow for smooth transition between the two if to becomes necessary to adjust models, based on health, safety and wellness conditions.
  • Courses through mySchool Online will be built to ensure engagement and rigor match the traditional classroom setting and essential learning and standards have been prioritized in the scope and sequence of instruction to support students as they enter the next grade, course level.
  • AP, Cambridge and IB courses will be offered through the Traditional and mySchool Online settings. The exact course offerings will be solidified in the coming weeks. Many courses will be available.
  • Dual Enrollment courses will be available through the Traditional and mySchool Online settings as well through PHSC. Our district will follow the procedures outlined by Pasco Hernando State College including the use of a Canvas Course in each DE course. PHSC has determined that courses taken at PHSC will be virtual for the 1st semester.
  • AP, AICE and IB courses that afford the opportunity for College Credit will still have this opportunity through the examination in the Spring. We will follow the guidance of the respective organizations on how the exams will be administered.

What you can do to support the education of your student with Instruction:

  • Keep in touch with teacher on a regular basis and let them know if your child is experiencing specific challenges, like grief over a family loss or heightened anxiety due to the pandemic.
  • Visit Pasco County Schools’ website regularly for updates.
  • Talk to your child regularly to make sure he/she understands work expectations.
  • Talk to your child regarding how they are feeling. Be patient and accept how they are feeling during this stressful time.
  • Maintain a daily routine around school and schoolwork.
  • Do check-ins with your child regarding academics, this includes checking their canvas course and/or myStudent to ensure the option chosen for your child is appropriate.
  • As you have academic check-in, make sure you do check-ins about your child emotional or mental health as well.
  • Encourage your child to seek assistance for emotional or mental health if needed from any of the student services staff at their school.
  • Reach out to your child’s teacher or student services staff with any changes that may impact your child’s success. This way we can develop supports for your child prior to the first day of school.

Access to Special Programs and Services:

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Access to Special Programs and Services:

Special Education Services
Pasco County Schools is committed to providing free and appropriate educational opportunities for students with disabilities, to the greatest extent possible in alignment with public health guidelines. Collaboration with families has always been an integral part of the special education process and continues to be essential during this time. To address the unique needs of students with disabilities staff will continue the work with families to collaboratively identify the most essential services for each student that can be provided. Individual Education Plan’s (IEPs) will be reviewed for the circumstances of the learning environment that the family selects.

Child Find and Evaluation
PascoCounty Schools will continue to identify,locate,and evaluate students suspected of having a disability and needing special education and relateds ervices. At the same time, we will be mindful that students have been displaced from their typical learning environment when initiating the referral process. Some evaluation procedures can be completed in remote learning situations. Some evaluations require in-person contact with students or observations of students in school settings. Pasco County Schools is conducting evaluations remotely and in-person whilea dhering to public health guidelines for the safety of students and staff.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meetings
Pasco County Schools is committed to providing families an opportunity to have meaningful participation in the special education process. Whether in-person or an alternative format, such as videoconferencing or by phone, IEP teams will partner with families to determine the most practical format to conduct IEP meetings.

Delivery of Special Education and Related Services 
  General education/special education educators, related services providers and families will discuss students’ individual needs and agree to a prioritized set of services that provide access to curriculum and enable progress toward IEP goals. Services for students with specific health or support needs will be addressed in collaboration with families on an individual basis.  

Progress Monitoring and Reporting 
IEP teams will have in place consistent data collection and service log procedures for use across all learning environments. Collecting data and tracking the provision of services will assist educators and families in determining the effectiveness of instruction provided, student performance on IEP goals/objectives, and assist IEP teams in making any necessary adjustments to instruction. Quarterly reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting the annual goals will continue to be provided.  

Education Plan (IEPs) or 504 Plan accommodations in MySchool Online
   All students attending mySchool Online will have access to the many accommodations that naturally occur in the virtual setting. In addition, mySchool Online will provide any accommodations listed on the IEP that are applicable to the online educational environment. Please note that some accommodations may not be possible to implement in the online educational setting.  The IEP team, (general education teachers, special education teachers, related services providers, and families), will work collaboratively if it is determined an accommodation is not appropriate or successful in a particular setting. 

Confidentiality and Student Privacy
  For families who select mySchool Online, special education and related service providers will use digital platforms approved by the district for secure access.  As with services provided in the brick and mortar classroom, educators may set ground rules regarding non-student presence during virtual instruction based on age and developmental level. It is also important to note that at no time will there be any recording of lessons when students are present in the digital environment. 

Related Services
At the elementary school level, we are creating a cohort isolation model, where students will spend time on campus with the group of students in their class, including in the classroom, the cafeteria, media center, and the playground. Interaction with students from other classes will be limited to the greatest extent possible. The cohort model at elementary schools should not impede necessary IEP services. Every effort should be made to schedule services to occur within the cohort group. Students in mySchool Online and Pasco eSchool may come to school campuses to receive their IEP related services (OT/PT/SLP) or may select to participate in the related services virtually. This should be a set schedule so that space is reserved and to minimize as much mixing within a traditional cohort as possible. 

At the secondary level, each school will have a customized plan to discourage large gatherings of students in hallways and common areas, using clear communication and signage to reinforce the message. The number of students allowed in the cafeteria, media center and gymnasiums will be reduced. Extracurricular activities will resume and will adhere to recommendations from CDC and the state. This model should not impede necessary IEP services. Every effort should be made to schedule services to occur within the traditional group. Students in mySchool Online and Pasco eSchool may come to school campuses to receive their IEP related services (OT/PT/SLP) or may select to participate in the related services virtually. This should be a set schedule so that space is reserved and to minimize as much mixing within a traditional group as possible. 

Private Instructional Providers and Community Providers (i.e. Mental Health Providers)
Service providers that are allowed by statute need to schedule with schools and be approved before visiting a campus. This should be scheduled in advance with a school- based administrator so that space is reserved and to minimize as much mixing within a traditional cohort as possible.  Location on campus will be determined on a case by case basis.

McKay Scholarship
Participation in Pasco eSchool may affect eligibility status for parents wishing to apply for the McKay Scholarship, a school choice program for students with special needs. Participation in mySchool Online will not affect eligibility status for parents wishing to apply for the McKay Scholarship, a school choice program for students with special needs.

Students that Need Reading or Math Remediation
Students that score level 2 on the Florida Standards Assessment may be eligible to participate in Pasco eSchool based on placement test results. Generally, these students would be enrolled in appropriate coursework to provide academic interventions matched to their identified needs. Students enrolled in Pasco eSchool would receive progress monitoring to ensure that they are making gains toward meeting grade level standards.

Students whose FSA scores indicate a need for frequent, intense interventions would be required to enroll in mySchool Online or the traditional option to receive the Tier III interventions required by state law and district policy. Students scoring at level 1 on the FSA would fall into this category.

Students Pursuing Access Standards
For students pursuing access standards, parents have the option of enrolling in traditional schools or mySchool Online. Pasco eSchool only provides services for students on regular standards and is not an option for students on access standards.

Self-Contained ESE Teachers
Based on initial data, self-contained students that enroll in mySchool Online will not have the same teacher that they would have in the traditional setting. Additionally, these students may be served by a teacher that is providing services to students in a geographic region.

PK ESE Students
For PK ESE students (excluding VPK), parents have the option of enrolling in traditional schools or mySchool Online. Pasco eSchool only provides services for K-12 students. MySchool Online can be an option for PK ESE students with disabilities but PK students in VPK must receive those services in the traditional school model in accordance with the State Early Learning Coalition guidelines.

Medically Vulnerable Populations
For medically vulnerable students who come to school, school health staff will develop or review school care plans in consultation with the family and child’s doctor, as appropriate. Pasco County schools will consider accommodations on a case-by-case basis.  For families with vulnerable students who do not intend to return to a traditional school setting, staff will work with the family to consider options. These options include but are not limited to mySchool Online, Pasco eSchool and Hospital/Homebound. 

Community Based Instruction (CBI), Job Training and Field Trips
With very minimum exception for unique or required instruction, field trips will NOT be permitted during the first semester. Community Based Instruction (CBI) and Job Training for students with disabilities will be reviewed on a case by case basis. In some circumstances, CBI can we offered on campus rather than going into the community. Additionally, job training sites will be reviewed to ensure all required health and safety guidelines can be implemented. Any activities requiring school bus transportation will follow the strict guidance and procedures developed for the safety of students and staff.

ESE Class sizes
ESE class sizes will be similar to what they have been in the past.  Students and staff will be encouraged to practice safe social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

ESOL/ELL
   Pasco County is committed to continuing to identify and serve English Language Learners. Whether in-person or an alternative format, ESOL strategies will continue to be implemented by instructional and support staff to address the academic and language needs of ELL students. In addition, ESOL teams will continue to partner with families and schools to provide resources and tools to ensure the academic success of ELL students. Whether the students are in traditional school, mySchool Online or Pasco eSchool, we are committed to providing instruction that will allow students to reach their maximum potential.

Teen Parent Program - Cyesis Center
For students interested in enrolling in the Teen Parent Cyesis Program at Pasco High School and River Ridge High School, students must be enrolled in the traditional brick and mortar setting. Pasco eSchool and mySchool Online will not be an option. Teen parents can still participate in the Teen Parent Program voluntary educational program and ancillary services through mySchool Online and Pasco eSchool but will not have access to the Cyesis Programs at Pasco High School and River Ridge High School.

School Choice
If parents choose to enroll their student in Pasco eSchool, the student will have to withdraw from the traditional school campus. If the school the student was enrolled in was a school of choice, the student will have to reapply for school choice during the open enrollment window or through the hardship/request for reassignment application if they decide to return to the brick and mortar setting. Seats will not be held for any students that leave a school of choice to enroll in Pasco eSchool. Choosing to utilize mySchool Online will keep your student enrolled in his or her school of choice.

Shared Enrollment
An eligible student may enroll in one or more online courses through the district virtual instruction program for a portion of their scheduled day. Parents would need to inquire with the school administrator to determine appropriate placement, eligibility, and education learning plan. The final decision as to grade placement is the responsibility of the Principal of the brick and mortar setting. A joint meeting between school administrators (physical school and Pasco eSchool), parent/guardian and other personnel is REQUIRED prior to enrollment.

Pre-Kindergarten Programs and Services:

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Pre-Kindergarten Programs and Services:

  • Services to preschool age children will follow all the district guidelines as much as possible.

What you can do to support the education of your Pre-Kindergarten student:

  • Contact your child’s teacher/caregiver and determine how your child’s teacher will communicate with you regarding the curriculum, planning support for your child, and how your child is developing.
  • Participate in the screening of developmental skills of your child and discuss the results with your child’s teacher/caregiver.
  • Participate in parent conferences.
  • If your child has a disability/special needs, participate in the development of your child’s IEP or IFSP to ensure you are determining the educational goals for your child as part of the team. Discuss with your team how the goals are being met for your child throughout the year, services that will be provided and the progress your child is making.
  • Read with your child and support the development of math skills as often as possible.
  • Practice “Conscious Discipline” skills in the home to promote the development of social-emotional skills.
  • Acknowledge any anxiety your child, yourself or other family members may have; staff can provide resources for your family how to talk to children about COVID-19.
  • Contact support staff who can refer your family to counseling, mental health services and other services as needed.

What you can do to support the health and wellness of your Pre-Kindergarten student, their peers and school staff:

  • Let your child’s teacher/caregiver know if someone in the family is sick or does not feel well.
  • Wear a mask when appropriate.
  • Take your child’s temperature daily.
  • Remind your children and family members to frequently wash their hands.
  • Do not share cups, utensils and food.

Beyond the School Day

Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding Extra-Curricular Activities and Athletics:

  • Strict cleaning procedures and guidelines for athletic venues, sports equipment, locker rooms, and restrooms.
  • Use of masks will be based on current district procedures.
  • Social Distancing guidelines will be encouraged in all athletic facilities and performing arts centers.
  • No field trips will be allowed in the 1st semester of the school year. Only certain board approved trips will be permitted.
  • Athletes will be required to wear masks on all bus trips to and from contests.
  • Schools will follow the district approved “Return to Athletics” and “Return to Summer Performing Arts” guidelines.

What you can do to support your student beyond the school day:

  • Make sure they have a water bottle and a cloth mask when they go to practice each day.
  • Remind them to wash their hands frequently when on campus, and also before and after practice.
  • Please be patient with our new processes and understand that things can change quickly, and things may change.

What you can do to support the health and wellness of your student, their peers and school staff beyond the school day:

  • If your child does not feel well, please keep them home and monitor their temperature.
  • Please notify your child’s coach or school if you child becomes ill after participating in practice or other activities held on the school campus.
  • Please practice social distancing when possible. Families should sit 6 feet apart from other families at games.
  • Please wear a face covering to all athletic events (indoor and outdoor), and in restrooms.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizer when available.
  • Don’t attend our event if you are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID 19 in the last 14 days.

After School Enrichment Programs

What you can expect from the district and your school regarding After School Enrichment Programs (PLACE, Beyond the Bell, STAR Academy, Delta Academy and Explorations):

The health and safety of all our students and staff is our top priority. Therefore, all ASEP (PLACE, Beyond the Bell, STAR and DELTA Academies, Explorations) will be following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 and will implement the following safety measures for our programs. We will continue to monitor government and CDC guidelines and adjust as needed.

If your student is sick, please keep them home.

ASEP- Site Staff:

  • All ASEP site staff will attend a mandatory Health and Safety training prior to the new school year that will include information about COVID-19, prevention methods and demonstrations, as outlined through the CDC, review of COVID-19 signs/symptoms, isolation procedures, when to return after an illness and other important topics.
  • All district employees will review a health self-screener prior to reporting to work each day.
  • Staff will be required to wear a cloth or disposable face mask while at work.

Staff to Student Ratio

  • All ASEP programs will operate on a 1:20 ratio.
  • Students will be grouped by grades (where possible) and assigned to a staff member.
  • Students will move together and participate in activities as a group.
  • Mixing of groups will be limited.

ASEP- Drop Off/ Pick Up Procedures

Drop Off
Parents will not need to leave their car for drop off. They will follow the signs to the designated drop off/pick up area at the school. An ASEP staff member will meet families at this area and check the students in each day.

On the first day of fall program, staff will provide families with (2) two placards that display the last name of the enrolled student(s). A placard must be displayed on the dash when dropping off or picking up the student(s) for quick identification.

Each day of the week student screening will occur curbside using district approved student screener. If student is cleared for entry to the program, they must wear a cloth or disposable face mask during program participation and transitions.

Pick Up
Parents will not need to leave their car for pick up. They will follow the signs to the designated drop off/pick up area at the school. Upon arrival, the parent will call the ASEP program office and a staff member will bring the student to the pickup area. If the placard is not displayed on the dash or the person picking up is not recognized by the staff member, a picture ID, such as a driver’s license will be required.

Tuition & Fee Payment/Medication Drop Off
Parents will not need to leave their car to pay tuition or fees and/or drop off medication. Parents are encouraged to utilize the myprocare.com contactless payment option. Medications will be received, counted and verified at curbside. As a continuation of our current procedures, students who are ineligible to attend due to failure to pay weekly fees will be denied entry and sent to the school office for alternate pick up options.

Bus Shuttle Runs
Students who attend an ASEP program at one location but then travel by bus to their day school location will be escorted each morning from the ASEP program space to the bus pick up area. Students will wash their hands prior to leaving program and getting on the bus. Students will be reminded of social distancing guidelines.

Students who attend their day school location and then travel by bus to a designated ASEP program location for after school program will be met at the bus drop off area by ASEP program staff. Students will be reminded of social distancing guidelines while exiting the bus. Students will wash their hands prior to entering the ASEP program space.

Meals/Snacks

  • Students will wash hands before participating in any meal/snack time.
  • Staff will wash hands and wear gloves for distribution of food items.
  • Snack areas will be sectioned off to allow for proper social distancing, with utensils and napkins provided.
  • Share bins for meals will not be utilized.
  • Sharing of food will be prohibited.

Program Set-up
Program will operate in the elementary cafeteria, media, other large space if needed, and outdoor play areas as appropriate, based on the number of students enrolled.

Middle school programs will utilize assigned spaces to include portables, indoor classrooms, media, cafeteria and possible computer labs. Social distancing will be encouraged throughout the program.

To ensure safety and student wellness the program design will adhere to CDC guidelines. Materials and supplies provided within the program will also be modified to meet these guidelines.

Cleaning Procedures:
Utilizing sanitizing products provided by each schools’ custodial department, the schedule of cleaning and sanitizing will be increased for all areas used during the PLACE, Beyond the Bell, STAR & DELTA Academy, Exploration hours.

Health and Wellness

Will students wear masks in classrooms?
In an effort to protect the health, safety, and welfare of students, staff, and the community, the School Board enacted an emergency rule mandating that all employees, visitors, and students wear a mask or other face covering while on school property, facilities and/or engaged in school activities. Additional information concerning this emergency rule can be found on our face covering policy page.

Will students be expected to socially distance?
In many school settings students will be socially distanced to the extent possible. At the elementary school level, where social distancing will be extremely difficult, students will spend most of the school day interacting only with students in their class. By limiting their exposure to a small number of students, we reduce the chance of infection. And if a student becomes ill, the immediate class is affected, not the entire school.

What steps will be taken to ensure that surfaces are clean in classrooms?
Maintenance workers and school custodians will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day. Other non-custodial staff members will be expected to do their part keeping surfaces clean, and will be provided spray bottles and microfiber cloths for additional cleaning.  Teachers will have access to cleaning supplies for their classroom.

What other steps are being taken to ensure a healthy environment?
Pasco Schools will partner with parents in educating students on the importance of hand washing, hygiene, and social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be made available in classrooms and workplaces. The schedule for changing air conditioning filters has been accelerated.

What will my student’s school do if a classmate or staff member is exhibits symptoms of COVID-19?
We will send a clear message to parents and staff that if they are exhibiting any symptoms, they should not come to school or report to work. If a student exhibits symptoms at school, they will be taken to a location at the school clinic set aside for possible COVID-19 cases and their parent or guardian will be notified to take them home or to visit a medical professional.

What if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
The Pasco County Health Department will notify the district if a student or staff member tests positive. We will notify parents, while not specifically identifying the student or staff member. We will cooperate with the Health Department as they conduct the appropriate notifications of individuals who have been in contact with the person infected.

Mental Health

If my child is anxious or concerned about returning to school, what can I do to help?
Talk to your child and find out the reason for their concern. Provide them reassurance and answer their questions, share information pertaining to their concern and seek answers if you are unaware. If you still need support, reach out to your child’s school for additional assistance. If you’re not sure how to do this, each school has a Let’s Talk link that you can email your question or concern for a response.

Where can I find resources regarding emotional and mental health for my child?
Pasco County Schools has a Mental Health Awareness website that provides many great resources designed to provide a parent/guardian/student with a variety of educational and community resources to help support positive change within their student: http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/mental_health

Food and Nutrition

If my child selects a virtual option will they still be permitted to receive their free or reduced meals?
School Nutrition Programs operate under the regulations of the United States Department of Agriculture. Waivers were just released by USDA to allow flexibility in this area. We will be receiving additional guidance from the state on the details of how we can provide meals to students that select a virtual option.

Will Classroom Celebrations with food still be permitted?
Yes, you can order individually wrapped food items from your child’s school cafeteria. A Food and Nutrition Staff member will ensure the order gets delivered to your child’s classroom at the date/ time that you have agreed upon with your child’s teacher. Please visit https://connectplus.pasco.k12.fl.us/do/fns/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Celebration-Flyer-2020-2021.pdf for offerings and pricing.

If I select a virtual option for my child for the 2020-2021 school year what happens to the money remaining on their meal account?
All funds roll to the next school year and are available to use. However, families can request a refund through the Food & Nutrition website by clicking on the green circle piggy bank icon.

The refund request form offers families 3 options:

  • Request a refund via check be mailed to them.
  • Request remaining funds to be donated to the Hardship Fund to be used for disadvantaged students.
  • Request remaining funds to be transferred to another student account.

Transportation

Will students be required to wear masks on school buses?
Students choosing to participate in school transportation will be required to wear a mask or face covering while being transported.

My student has health issues that make wearing a mask impossible. Will they have to still wear a mask?
Accommodation will be considered relative to this expectation. Please communicate concerns with school staff for further direction.

How will social distancing be enforced on school buses?
Students are expected to wear a face covering as social distancing will not always be possible on school buses. Siblings will be directed to sit together and students will utilize space available to distance when possible.

Technology

If we choose the online options and we don’t have a device, can we get one like we did in the spring?
For the mySchool Online option, you can sign out a device from your child's school to the extent the District has devices available.

For the Virtual School option, students may be eligible for assistance with technology or internet service if the family satisfies the technology hardship provisions outlined by Florida Statute 1002.45.

If we have several children, do we need devices for each child, and can we sign out a device for each child?
Yes, if you choose the mySchool Online option, you will need a device for each child. You can sign them out from your children’s school(s) to the extent that the District has devices available.

Will the District support my child’s device if I send one from home?
No, the District will not support devices brought from home.

Early Childhood Programs

What are the options for children enrolled in the Head Start and Early Head Start and Teen Parenting (CYESIS) classroom models for educational services for the 2020-21 school year?
The only option provided for Head Start, Voluntary Prek (VPK), Early Head Start and CYESIS classrooms will be the Traditional Model in the classroom. The children will follow the arrival and dismissal procedures, transportation, car rider and walker procedures as determined by the district and with the guidance of the site-based school administrator.

Children enrolled in the PreK Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs will be able to participate in the Traditional Model or mySchool Online Model.

The only option for a child participating in the VPK program with Prek ESE classroom will be the Traditional Model.

  • Early Head Start Home-based will be providing further guidance to families enrolled in this model.
  • More guidance will be provided for children being served in the Early Childhood High School Academy.

What health guidelines will be followed for preschool children?
The preschool programs will be following the district re-opening guidelines which will be shared with staff and parents that are still in the process of being finalized. 

For the Head Start and Early Head Start Programs how will meals be served?
Children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start will daily still be provided meals in bulk from Food and Nutrition Services. The staff will be receiving training for the adults to individually serve each child.

For Early Head Start, toddlers will still be eating with dishes and utensils that can be washed/sanitized after each meal. Staff will continue to individually serve each child.

What will the number of Prek children be in the Head Start/VPK/Pre-K classroom?
The enrollment for children in each Head Start/VPK classroom will be 15-20 children with two adults.

The number of children in Early Head Start classrooms will be a maximum of 8 children with two adults.

The number of children in the PreK Exceptional Student Education classrooms will vary based on district recommendations.

The number of children enrolled in Teen Parenting PreK classrooms will be based on licensing ratios and district recommendations.

Will children have naptime?
Children will have a rest time included in the daily schedule. Daily sanitation procedures will be required. Parents will be asked to follow the district guidance at the beginning of the year regarding any rest time items they would like to send to school with the child (ie blanket/towel, item with which to cuddle, etc).

Children will be spread out as much as possible, using “learning centers” as barriers. Children will rest “head to toe” fashion.

Cots will be sanitized daily and laundry will increase daily.

Will children brush teeth during the day?
Children will not be brushing teeth at the beginning of the year. The program will provide additional family education regarding oral health and dental care.

What will the number of Prek children be in the Head Start/VPK/Pre-K classroom?
The enrollment for children in each Head Start/VPK classroom will be 15-20 children with two adults.

The number of children in Early Head Start classrooms will be a maximum of 8 children with two adults.

The number of children in the PreK Exceptional Student Education classrooms will vary based on district recommendations.

The number of children enrolled in Teen Parenting PreK classrooms will be based on licensing ratios and district recommendations.

Will Early Head Start Programs have Socialization opportunities?
Yes, the Early Head Start program will be offering Socializations, following the district re-opening guidelines which will be shared with staff and parents that are still in the process of being finalized.

Extra-Curricular/Athletics

Are we allowing sporting events, pep rallies, dances, and back to school nights?
These events have a smaller, more select crowd, and therefore offer less exposure. Virtual options will also be considered when appropriate.

Will athletes be required to wear masks? 
No, but they will need to wear them while riding the bus to and from the game.  

Will parents still be allowed to attend games? 
Yes, however, we will be limiting crowds based on facility capacity.  

Will sports still be offered next school year?
Presently, we are planning for sports to resume. We will offer the same sports as usual with some restrictions related to social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures. Students will be required to wear a mask on any bus trips to games. We will also be limiting crowds at games based on the capacity of the venue. 

If a student chooses the mySchool Online or full virtual school option are they able to try out for school sports?  
Yes, if you decide to choose the full virtual or mySchool online option, you will be able to participate in sports at your zoned school only.

After School Enrichment Programs

When does the program operate?
Elementary school programs operate year-round before/after school and include many full days when school is not in session such as planning days, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, Spring break and Summer. Middle school programs operate after school when school is in session.

Who is the contact for the program at my school if I have any questions or concerns?
Each program is assigned an Enrichment Specialist who is responsible for assuring quality, problem solving issues with parents, students, staff and school administration. Most administrators have already met or know their Enrichments Specialist however, they will make contact prior to the start of school and provide their contact information. For issues that must be elevated contact Dorcia Bartenope, Program Manager, Sandra Jay Manager, or Mary Grey, Director at x42298.

Student Illness Procedure

Students who develop symptoms outside of school:

  • Notify your school by calling the absence line and stay home

Students who experience symptoms when they arrive at school or become sick during the school day:

  • Student should notify a staff member as soon as they feel symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19
  • These are described in the “Return to School Guidelines for Parents” document
  • The clinic must be called before sending any student to the clinic.
  • If a student is unable to go to the clinic independently, separate the ill student from rest of the class until an adult arrives (with a mask) to escort the student to clinic. Do not send sick child using the “buddy” system.
  • A temperature will be obtained for every student who presents to the clinic with symptoms of illness. Students with fever (and other symptoms) will be immediately directed to the isolation area and face covering applied (as tolerated by student).
  • Masks will be placed on all students with any COVID-19 like symptoms
  • Students who are ill will be escorted out of the building to their parents following school guidelines:
    • All students that are sent home must receive a copy of the “Return to School Guidelines or Parents”.
    • Suggest parent/guardian call FDOH COVID Hotline at 866-779-6121 or student’s primary provider for guidance regarding presenting symptoms if testing for COVID-19 is warranted.
    • Educate parents on recognizing serious warning signs and when to seek emergency medical attention.

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