5/1/2020 - Message from Supt. Grego
School Closure and Digital Learning Update
Pinellas County Schools Families,
As we close out our fifth week of digital learning, I want to continue to express my gratitude and appreciation for the support you continue to provide your students. My hope is that the last four weeks of the 2019-20 school year is filled with lessons and experiences that are creative, innovative and unlock the curiosity and love of learning within every student.
As a district we have a number of celebrations coming in the next weeks. And we continue to plan ways to honor the accomplishments of students and staff virtually.
Today is National Decision Day. The day when our seniors announce their plans for after high school graduation. We will be sharing the stories of our seniors over the next upcoming weeks through our social media platforms and website. I want to thank the over 7,000 students and family members who participated in the graduation survey. We will hold in-person graduation ceremonies later in the summer, if health and safety regulations allow. We will also continue to plan for a virtual ceremony which incorporates all portions of a traditional graduation ceremony to ensure that if we are unable to hold an in-person ceremony, each graduate still has a celebration to honor their accomplishments. As I previously communicated, the best-case scenario is that all our planning for a virtual ceremony is not needed and that we turn the content for a virtual ceremony into a video keepsake for each graduate and their families. I ask each graduate to engage in the virtual planning as it will create a memory for your entire graduating class.
Next week is also Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8, 2020). Now more than ever our community…our society truly knows and recognizes the impact of great teachers. Our teachers are much more than ‘essential’… they continue to go above and beyond on a daily basis without seeking acknowledgment or award. I hope you will join me this week in expressing our unending gratitude for the continued devotion and enthusiasm our teachers demonstrate for your students. Please take a few moments and submit a teacher ‘shout-out’ .
While digital learning does not replace the relationships or experiences within our classrooms our teachers and everyone within Pinellas County Schools are here to support you and your student as their learning continues.
As a reminder, all information and resources are available on the district website which is updated on a regular basis at www.pcsb.org/coronavirus including specific pages for:
Digital learning resources for students and families, including frequently asked questions and updated how-to tutorials are available on our dedicated webpage for Digital Learning for Students and Families. Additional information regarding grading, testing, promotion/retention and summer bridge programming will be updated soon!
Meal distribution will continue to distribute free meals throughout the closure at 22 school sites. Distribution information is available at www.pcsb.org/foodlocations. If you are not able to go to one of the school sites, other local food providers throughout the county are offering free, nutritious meals for our students. A complete list of sites throughout our community can be found at the Pinellas County government website.
I also want all families to know that over the last two weeks, the district has convened a cross-functional planning team that includes medical professionals with expertise in infectious disease. We are doing this to ensure that as we plan for Summer 2020 and the 2020-21 school year we are guided by health professionals and grounded in best practices for safety, health and well-being. We will continue to share updates and planning for Summer 2020 and the 2020-21 school year in the upcoming weeks.
Pinellas County Schools remains committed to providing a high-quality education to our students. I am grateful for your continued support of our students, staff and community through during this time of digital learning. We are better together!
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.
Superintendent Pinellas County Schools
Update on meal distribution within the school district
In response to CDC Guidelines, which recommend that citizens further limit running essential errands to help slow the spread of COVID-19, our Food and Nutrition Department will be reducing the number of food distribution days, while keeping the number of meals served constant. This will limit the number of interactions for both families and staff. Specifically, for the upcoming weeks food will be distributed as follows at the 22 school sites listed at www.pcsb.org/foodlocations and below which includes the expansion of sites as previously communicated.
Monday, April 13 – 2 days-worth of meals
Wednesday, April 15 - 4 days-worth of meals
Monday, April 20 - 2 days-worth of meals
Wednesday, April 22 – 6 days-worth of meals
Wednesday, April 29 – 6 days-worth of meals
If needed, a full week’s-worth of meals will be distributed each Wednesday throughout the closure. The district will continue to evaluate school distribution locations, as well as community distribution locations, to ensure our families have access to the meals they need while they and our staff members reduce the risk of exposure to the greatest extent possible.
Schools below will distribute meals from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.;
For a listing of all Grab & Go and BreakSpot meal distribution locations throughout Pinellas County, please visit the Pinellas County government website.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work through this difficult and evolving situation.
Every August, I send a back-to-school message to welcome our students and families, and, in a way, this feels similar. While this Monday will not begin a new school year, it will be a new way of learning. We are committed to providing our students the best education possible. There will be a learning curve for all involved, and we will work to continuously improve our processes to ensure successful outcomes for all our students.
Make no mistake – school will be back in ‘virtual’ session on Monday! We will begin slowly, to make sure all students and teachers have time to adapt. Ultimately, we will ramp up to provide the instructional and digital experiences necessary to challenge all students.
I want to thank you for your continued support. I know this has also dramatically shifted the daily lives of our families. We all want our students to succeed and now more than ever our partnership will be key to making that happen!
Here is a link to answers for Frequently Asked Questions we have received about digital learning: Digital Learning FAQ for Families.
If you or your student have any difficulty with the digital learning platform, reach out through our Digital Hotline at 727-588-6060, call your student’s school or access the resources available on our webpages.
We will continue to keep families apprised of additional resources and any changes as they relate to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.
March 22, 2020
Update from Dr. Grego
Pinellas County Schools Families,
I hope you and your family were able to enjoy a portion of your spring break in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. Thank you for your continued support as we work together to ensure our students stay safe, healthy and continue their learning.
As you know Governor DeSantis and the Department of Education extended a directive requiring all school districts in the state of Florida to close for students until April 15.
District staff has been working throughout spring break to prepare for digital instruction, and to address the questions from families and staff. This is an extraordinary situation. We are committed to make decisions with the best interests of our students, families and staff in mind. We must all recognize that processes may not be optimal or perfect, but we are dedicated to continuously improving our supports for our staff, students and families during this unprecedented situation.
March 17, 2020
Update from Dr. Grego regarding School Closing
All school districts in the state of Florida to close for students until April 15
March 17, 2020
Thank you for your continued support during this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19. How we come together to support one another, and our students says so much about our community. This afternoon, Governor DeSantis and the Department of Education extended a directive requiring all school districts in the state of Florida to close for students until April 15. Therefore, all Pinellas County Public Schools will be closed for students from Monday, March 16-20 for Spring Break and continue to be closed through April 15, 2020. From March 23-27, all schools will undergo deep cleaning by our plant operations and maintenance staff and all employees will engage in activities that will support preparation for digital instruction.
Digital Learning for Students
Pinellas County Schools is prepared to transition to student digital learning during the week of March 23-27. During this time our goal is for students and families to access grade level, academic enrichment activities and get to know the digital platforms that are available through our Digital Learning Students and Families webpage.
On Monday, March 30, the district will transition to course/class specific assignments developed and led by their teachers utilizing the Microsoft 365 Teams (Microsoft Teams) platform. On Microsoft Teams, your student’s teacher(s) will be able to give class specific lessons and messages directly to their students. The district will use the week of March 23-27 to ensure staff is trained and students are connected in order to effectively transition to Microsoft Teams.
We want to make this change as easy as possible. All resources for students and families, including frequently asked questions and how-to tutorials are available on our dedicated webpage for Digital Learning for Students and Families. To prepare, students and families can:
- Review the Digital Learning Students and Families webpage and resources (https://www.pcsb.org/Page/32734)
- Ensure you know your student’s R2D2 number and password so they can log-in to digital learning environments If you or your student do not know their R2D2 number, please contact our Digital Learning Helpline at 727-588-6060 which will be open starting on March 23.
As most staff are on Spring Break, we will continue to communicate district-level updates. Your principal will be communicating additional, school-specific details the afternoon of Monday, March 23 via School Messenger.
- Digital Device Needs: Should your student need access to a digital device (laptop, computer, etc.) to engage with school work, district device distribution will take place on Tuesday, March 24 and Wednesday March 25. School specific distribution times will be sent to families from their principal on the afternoon of Monday, March 23 via School Messenger.
- WiFi Access: Thanks to Spectrum, free WiFi will be provided to all students. For students to enroll, they will need to call 1-844-488-8395. All installation fees will be waived for new student households. WiFi hotspots across Spectrum’s footprint will also be available for public use.
Student State Assessments
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has announced that all PK-12 student state assessments will be cancelled for the 2019-20 school year. FDOE will provide guidance to school districts in the near future regarding any potential impacts for students. As the district learns more information we will share this with our community.
State School Grade Designations vs. Student Grades
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has announced that all school grade designations will not be calculated for schools for the 2019-20 school year.
- Students will continue to earn grades based on their progress in their classes. Student grades and credits will continue to count toward promotion and/or graduation.
Student Instructional Hours
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has announced that the Commissioner is evaluating how digital instruction will count toward student instructional hours. The Commissioner may reduce required K-12 instructional hours, as necessary, to accommodate for school closures.
Food & Nutrition Resources for Students
During the week of March 23-27, our district will establish Grab-and-Go feeding sites at nine 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.
As school closures through April 15 were just announced, additional information with regard to longer-term food distribution will be forthcoming.
From March 23-27 each location will serve a lunch and breakfast, in a single bag. 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 Time Dunedin Elementary
900 Union St., Dunedin
10:45 am - 11:45 am Eisenhower Elementary
2800 Drew St., Clearwater
11:00 am - Noon Fairmount Park Elementary
575 41st St. S, St. Petersburg
10:15 am - 11:15 am Marjorie K. Rawlings Elementary
6505 68th St. N, Pinellas Park
11:00 am - Noon John Hopkins Middle
701 16th St S, St. Petersburg
10:30 am - 11:30 am New Heights Elementary
3901 37th St. N, St. Petersburg
10:45 am - 11:45 am Ponce De Leon Elementary
1301 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Clearwater
11:15 am - 12:15 pm Southern Oak Elementary
9101 Walsingham Rd., Largo
11:15 am - 12:15 pm Tarpon Springs Elementary
555 Pine St., Tarpon Springs
10:30 am - 11:30 am
We thank you for your patience during this time. My hope is that we all use Spring Break to focus on self-care and time with your families and loved ones. Please continue to monitor our social media platforms and district webpage at www.pcsb.org/coronavirus. Thank you for working with us through this unprecedented situation. Pinellas County is a wonderful, strong and vibrant community, we will get through this challenging time together!
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.
Pinellas County Schools
March 16, 2020
April 4 ACT Administration postponed
The April 4 administration of the ACT has been postponed to June 13, 2020.
Please Visit the ACT Website to view their annoucmement rescheduling testing
March 16, 2020
College Board Cancels May SAT in Response to the Coronavirus through May 2020.
Please Visit the College Board Website to view their announcement cancelling SAT Testing through May
March 15, 2020
Distribution of School Meals During School Closures
UPDATE: March 15, 2020
Largo, Fl.- As part of Pinellas County Schools emergency plan during school closures, the district will provide prepackaged lunch and breakfast to students from March 23-March 27, this is the week students would have returned to school after spring break.
Meals will be packed at and delivered from Walter Pownall Service Center. The meals will be cold and meet the USDA nutritional standards. The district is working with the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger to help reach more students and families needing assistance.
Breakfast includes: cereal or breakfast bar, juice (OJ, apple juice or mixed fruit) and milk.
Lunch includes: Sandwich (PBJ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; meat and cheese sandwiches on Tuesdays and Thursdays), fruit cup (applesauce, strawberries or peaches), juice (OJ, apple juice or mixed fruit) and milk.
Meals will be served “Grab & Go”
Lunch and (breakfast for the next day) will be served in a single bag
Meals are FREE for anyone 18 years old and under
Child/Teen must be present to receive meals
Meals will be served as “Drive-Thru” at the car/bus circle. Walkers should go to the Main Entrance of the School
Distribution Points and Times:
900 Union Street, Dunedin 10:45-11:45
2800 Drew St. Clearwater 11:00-Noon
Marjorie K. Rawlings Elementary
6505 68th St. N Pinellas Park 11:00-Noon
John Hopkins Middle School
701 16th St S St. Petersburg 10:30-11:30
New Heights Elementary
3901 37th St. N St. Petersburg 10:45-11:45
Ponce De Leon Elementary
1301 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Clearwater 11:15-12:15
Southern Oak Elementary
9101 Walsingham Rd. Largo 11:15-12:15
Tarpon Springs Elementary
555 Pine St. Tarpon Springs 10:30-11:30
March 13, 2020
- School Closure / Extra-Curricular Activities
Based on the direction of the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Pinellas County Schools will now be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. All extra-curricular activities are also cancelled for this time-period. During this time, deep cleaning of all school buildings will occur.