Dr. Grego's Digital Learning Update

  • 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.

    Digital Learning for Students

    This week, March 23-27, students and families can access grade level, academic enrichment activities and get to know the digital platforms that are available through our Digital Learning Students and Families webpage. A link to these activities is now available on your school’s website. During the week of March 23-27 our teachers will be working collaboratively to prepare for digital instruction on our Microsoft Teams platform. This will, no doubt, be a shift for our teachers and students.  We are working with our teachers to plan for and provide the best possible experience for all students in all grade levels. 

    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.

    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 use the information on the attached document or contact our Digital Learning Helpline at 727-588-6060 which will be open starting on March 23.

    We will begin distributing laptops and tablets for students in need beginning Tuesday morning, March 24. You will receive a message directly from your principal on Monday with details on the distribution process.

    Thanks to Spectrum, free WiFi is available to our students.  To enroll, 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.

    Individual Education and 504 Plans

    Students with Individual Education or 504 Plans will continue to have accommodations and services available in the digital platform.  Students with an IEP can expect their case manager to contact them through Microsoft Teams the week of March 30.

    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.

    Information and resources are available on the district website which is updated on a regular basis at www.pcsb.org/coronavirus.   

    I know the transition to digital learning may not be easy and that there will be new questions and challenges that arise. We will work together, with care and compassion, to support our students and community through this difficult time. Pinellas County Schools remains committed to providing a high-quality education to our students. We appreciate your continued patience and support.

    Sincerely,

    Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.
    Superintendent Pinellas County Schools