Staff Update

  • March 23, 2020
    3:45 p.m.


    Thank you for your patience and support during this extraordinary time. I know that we all have been involved in planning for our families and loved ones and that there are feelings of uncertainty.  Please know that the safety of all our employees and students remains a top priority as we put in place our transition to digital instruction and learning.


    I know that there have been many updates and adjustments as the situation evolves. I want to make sure all employees have clarity for our return following Spring Break. Below is information on pay, returning to work and leave.


    Employee Pay


    • Please rest assured that the district intends to pay all regular full and part-time employees as we normally would for all upcoming paychecks.  This now includes all part-time hourly teachers.  Part-time hourly teachers will continue to work their current hours and will receive further information from their administrators on when and where to report. 


    Return to Work


    • Instructional staff members, including long-term substitutes and co-teachers, will report virtually on Monday, March 23, 2020, to begin preparation for digital instruction which will begin for students on Monday, March 30, 2020.  Next week will be spent making sure teachers and students have the necessary technology to implement the virtual learning experiences.  Teachers will also have time to undergo training on how to run a digital classroom and to plan for the lessons that will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020.  Additional information regarding this training and how to access it can be found on our Staff Digital Learning Webpage with additional information coming to you in upcoming days. Participation and completion will be monitored by each school’s administration.  Any teacher who needs access to their school to gather materials may do so on Monday, March 23, 2020 between 12:00pm-3:00pm.  Teachers are not required to be nor expected to work at their school site.


    *Non-classroom instructional staff members (such as behavior specialists, guidance counselors, content area coaches, etc.) will receive further direction from their administrator or supervisor by Tuesday, March 24 or Wednesday, March 25, but should familiarize themselves with the Staff Digital Learning Website and resources.  


    • School-Based Support Staff (ESE Associates, Bilingual Assistants, PE Assistants, CDA’s, Clerks, etc.) should wait to hear from their school-based administrators. Specific instructions regarding where employees will be expected to work from will be provided by your administrator in more detail soon. 


    *Please note, specific instructional and support staff members may be called in by administrators to assist with the preparation for and distribution of tech devices on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next week.  Those staff members will receive a notification and further direction from their administrators.


    • Principals’ Secretaries will return to work at their assigned school locations on Monday, March 23, 2020, to support their schools administrators in preparing payroll and other duties required by the principal. 


    • All other District employees not listed above will receive further direction from their supervisors on when they should report to work. Specific instructions regarding where employees will be expected to work from and what that work will look like will be provided in more detail at that time. Employees in Transportation Services, Food and Nutrition Services and Plant Operations can expect a department-specific email in the coming days with additional information specific to their functions. 


    • Students will engage in non-graded academic enrichment activities the week of March 23-27 available through our Student and Family Digital Learning Webpage. Beginning March 30, students will begin digital on Microsoft Teams, where teachers will provide class specific lessons and messages directly to their students.


    • All employees returning to work within the proximity of others should follow the social distancing guidelines in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local Health Department, and the Florida Department of Education.


    Employee Leaves


    • At this time, the guidance regarding leaves that was recently distributed below stands as communicated. The federal government is currently considering legislation and funding that may provide additional benefits to employees, and additional information will be sent to employees as we learn more.


    • If you are not able to conduct job duties as assigned, you will follow normal work rules applicable to sick and personal days.  You should follow the same process you currently use to report your absences to your supervisor. Please communicate directly with your worksite supervisor so a contingency plan can be made.


    Make-Up Days


    At this time, it has not been determined if the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) will require school districts to make up any lost instructional time. We are closely monitoring the situation and remain in daily contact with FDOE.


    We will continue to provide updates to all employees as we learn more. To stay informed, be sure to monitor your district email, the district website ( and social media outlets for updates.  This situation continues to be very fluid and these plans may change further as needed. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we work together to support each other and our students.


    March 16, 2020
    7:30 p.m.

    Pinellas County Schools’ Staff,


    Thank you for your continued support during this rapidly changing time in light of COVID-19. How we come together as an educational community to support one another and our students says so much about our district. As you know, on Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor DeSantis and the Department of Education extended a directive requiring all school districts in the state of Florida to close for the next two weeks. Therefore, all Pinellas County Public Schools will be closed for students from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 27, 2020.  During this time, schools will undergo deep cleaning by our plant operations and maintenance staff and all employees will engage in activities that will support continuity of instruction. All schools are currently scheduled to reopen for both students and staff on Monday, March 30, 2020.


    During the week of March 23-27, school buildings will be open at designated times for staff to be able to collect any belongings needed to support continuity of instruction should we need to transition to digital learning for a longer period of time. Every employee will need to play a role in our preparation to support the learning of our students.   All full-time employees, part-time food and nutrition employees and long-term substitutes will be paid for the pay period that includes March 23-27, based on their normal work schedules. Daily substitutes and part-time hourly employees (other than food and nutrition) should not report and will not be compensated during this time.


    Please review the charts for reporting and high-level expectations below.  Following the charts is additional information regarding:  Employee Leave, Digital Learning, Facilities, Food & Nutrition Resources for Students and Districtwide Training.


    Work Week for March 23 - March 27:

    To provide clarification for all PCS employees during the week of March 23 - March 27 only, the following plan defines who will need to return, along with high-level expectations.  Please note that any employee who needs to report to a physical site should practice social distancing. Additional information will be sent should school closures be extended past March 27.


    Executive Leadership

    Personnel Reporting Location

    Expectations for Return

    Date to Return
    Leadership Team (ELT)
    and Select District Staff
    District Offices

    ELT will be required to report to district office.   

    Select district-level employees who need to report to district office or Walter Pownall will be contacted by ELT.

    March 23

    School-Based and District Staff

    Personnel Reporting Location

    Expectations for Return

    Date to Return
    Principals & Assistants Principals Schools

    Required to work at school sites.  There will be a digital meeting, led by Superintendent Grego and members of ELT, with all administrators at 9:00 am on March 23.

    Meeting agenda and further details will be sent in the upcoming days.

     Principals and/or Assistant Principals will then reach out directly to select school-based staff members who have unique skill sets to support:

    • Payroll;
    • Answering of phones;
    • Distribution of digital devices for students and families in need
    March 23
    Principal Secretaries Schools Report to school site to assist principal and to complete payroll. March 23
    School-Based Instructional Staff including long-term substitutes Remote

    Required to work remotely on Microsoft Teams.  

    Some teachers may be asked to assist in the distribution of digital devices to students later in the week.

    March 23

    School-Based Support Staff

    (ESE Associates, Bilingual Asst, PE Assistants, CDAs, etc.)

    Schools or Remote School-based administrator will send you an email with additional instructions about the need to report to your site. March 24
    District Staff (including PTS and support) Remote or District Communication will be sent directly to employees from their Executive Leader and/or direct supervisor. March 23

    Specialized Services Staff

    (Social Workers, Psychologists and Nurses)

    Schools & District

    Required to work at assigned sites or remotely. Supervisors will provide further information regarding expectations. 

    (complete report evaluations, update 504s, review/update data in SWIMMS and all other required reports)

    March 23
    Plant Operations Staff Schools

    Required to work at school sites.

    All staff will work the day shift.

    Head Plant Operators will work directly with General Managers

    March 23
    Food and Nutrition Services Staff Schools

    Required to work at school sites to ensure deep cleaning of kitchens and operation of student meal distribution sites.

    Further direction will come from Lynn Geist

    March 23
    Maintenance Staff Schools & District Required to work at assigned sites March 23
    Security Personnel (SSOs and SROs) Schools & District

    Required to work at assigned sites

    Further direction will come from Chief Williams

    March 23
    Transportation Staff Transportation

    Essential staff should report.

    Supervisors will directly contact staff members.

    March 24


    If any employee mentioned above is experiencing symptoms of illness, please do NOT come to work and follow the guidelines outlined by the Department of Health. 


    Employee Absences

    Any employee not able to conduct job duties as assigned above will follow normal work rules applicable to the use of paid vacation, personal, and sick time.  Please be assured that there will be no disciplinary or evaluation consequences for excessive absences as a result of this emergency situation. 


    Digital Learning


    Staff Digital Learning Environment


    In the event that school closure is extended beyond March 27, teachers should be prepared to deliver digital instruction starting  on Monday, March 30.  The week of March 23-27 will be used to ensure students, families and staff are prepared.  Staff should visit the Educator Digital Learning website for additional directions, information and expectations.  Students will be assigned grade-level, districtwide academic enrichment activities for March 24-27.  Teachers will transition to course by course assignments after March 27, as needed. 


    We will be utilizing Microsoft Teams for our digital learning environment.  Please note that TIS is currently rostering all students and teachers. Rostering will be complete by Friday, March 20.  If you sign-in prior to this and do not see your class(es) in Microsoft Teams, there is no need for concern.


    On March 23, schools will be open from noon to 3pm for teachers to pick up their computer, power cords, teaching resources and personal items from their classrooms.  Teachers should follow the instructions on the Digital Learning website for staff to plan for and execute online learning for students.  Training, resources, and more can be found on the site. 


    Student Digital Learning


    Digital devices for students who need them will be distributed on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 24-25) at schools. School leaders will develop school-based device distribution plans and communicate them with families on the afternoon of March 23. Thanks to Spectrum, free WiFi will be provided to all students.  For students to enroll, they will need to call 1-844-488-8395.  Please note that all installation fees will be waived for new student households.  WiFi hotspots across Spectrum’s footprint will also be available for public use.


    There is also a Digital Learning website for students and families that provides information on obtaining a device, getting help with their R2D2 name and password, logging onto to Clever and Microsoft Teams, and more.



    To ensure that our facilities are prepared for our return, district maintenance staff, site-based plant operations staff, and potential external services will be working diligently to conduct deep cleans at every school and district site.  All maintenance and plant operations staff will start on Monday, March 23rd to ensure a flawless return.  All plant operations staff will report to the day shift, just as is done during the summer break.


    Food & Nutrition Resources for Students


    During the week of March 23rd, our district will establish Grab-and-Go feeding sites at eight Pinellas County Schools to ensure that students have accessibility to meals during this timeframe.  Our Food & Nutrition Services Department has identified the locations listed below that will provide both breakfast and lunch to all individuals 18 years old or under.


    Each location will serve a lunch and breakfast, in a single bag, March 23-27.  While we encourage parents and caregivers to drive to our locations, we will be accepting walk-ups.  Additionally, Pinellas County Emergency Management will be coordinating with other local food providers to allow students to have access to nutritional options at other locations as well.  The school sites below will be utilized as distribution sites.  A complete list of sites throughout our community can be found at


    School Address Serving Time
    Dunedin Elementary

    900 Union St.
    Dunedin, FL 34698


    Eisenhower Elementary

    2800 Drew St.
    Clearwater, FL 33759

    Marjorie K. Rawlings Elementary

    6505 68th St. N
    Pinellas Park, FL 33781

    John Hopkins Middle

    701 16th St. S 
    St. Petersburg, FL 33705

    10:30 –11:30
    New Heights Elementary

    3901 37th St. N
    St. Petersburg, FL 33714

    Ponce de Leon Elementary

    1301 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
    Clearwater, FL 33756

    Southern Oak Elementary

    9101 Walsingham Rd.
    Largo, FL 33773-4300

    Tarpon Springs Elementary 555 Pine St.
    Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
    10:30 –11:30


    Districtwide Training

    The Support Staff Districtwide Training Day and School-Based Training Day scheduled for March 23, 2020, as previously scheduled prior to the announcement of extended school closures, is cancelled. Please see March 23-27 work schedule above.


    As we continue to collaborate with the Governor’s Office, Florida Department of Education, Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center, and Florida Department of Health, I will keep each of you informed of new and relevant information. My hope is that each of you will use Spring Break to focus on self-care and time with your families and loved ones.  Continue to monitor your district email, our social media platforms and district webpage at


    Again, thank you for your dedication and support.  Together we will continue to serve our community and ensure our students are healthy and learning.




    Michael A. Grego Ed.D.
    Pinellas County Schools