Guiding Principles

  • Introduction

    Pinellas County Schools is pleased to introduce our reopening information for the 2020-2021 school year.

    The district has worked diligently to gather as much information and feedback as possible in order to develop plans and protocols that will keep students and staff safe, while creating a nurturing and productive learning environment.

    We have been meeting regularly with our medical advisory group, comprised of pediatric and infectious disease specialists from BayCare, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Community Health Centers of Pinellas, along with the Pinellas County Health Department.  Doctors have toured elementary and secondary schools to get an understanding of how students and teachers interact and move throughout a school campus.

    Over 43,000 families, students and staff members took our Return-to-School survey, sharing their preferences on learning models, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, bus transportation and more. Eleven feedback groups were held with parents, staff members and community stakeholders to review and discuss multiple return-to-school scenarios. We also received and reviewed all correspondence shared with the Superintendent’s Office and the School Board, including public comment delivered via email for our virtual School Board meetings.

    After taking all the medical data and stakeholder input into account, the district has put a plan in place that provides learning options to fit all students’ and families’ needs, while keeping the health and safety of all individuals at the forefront of our decision making. We know our families are anxious to make the best decision possible for their student(s), and our staff is equally eager to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

    On our ReOpening website (, families can explore the three learning options offered for the fall: traditional school, MyPCS Online and Pinellas Virtual School. Information is also available regarding the protocols being instituted to maximize the health and safety of all students and staff and to communicate timely information to all stakeholders. The site also includes information about instruction for ESE students, field trips and extracurricular activities, technology support, health and wellness protocols for in-school students, visitor and volunteer protocols, and adult education. The information can be translated into many languages using the translate button at the top of the web page.

    We encourage families to carefully review the site before selecting a learning option for your student. To select your choice for the upcoming school year, please click on the Select an Option button and complete a separate form for each child enrolled in Pinellas County Schools.

    We ask you to make your selection no later than 5 p.m. July 27. Your prompt attention will give the district time to schedule students and staff accordingly. We know school will look different in the fall, and we appreciate your partnership and cooperation as we work to make the 2020-2021 school year successful for all!


    Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.


    Guiding Principles

    Since March 2020, Pinellas County Schools has risen to the challenge of a changing landscape brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and wellbeing of students, families, employees and the community has been at the forefront of planning and decision-making.

    There is much that is still unknown about COVID-19. In planning for the safe reopening of schools, the district engaged a cross-functional group of medical professionals including the Department of Health and local infectious disease experts and pediatricians from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, BayCare and Community Health Centers of Pinellas. The district also sought input from students, parents, employees and community stakeholders through the districtwide survey, emails sent to the district and feedback groups.

    Based on all the input gathered, and in alignment with the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the protocols within the Pinellas County Schools’ ReOpening Plan represent processes that support ensuring a safe return for students and staff.

    This plan is guided by the following principles:

    1. Ensure the safety and wellness of students and employees
    2. Reopen Pinellas County Schools for students
    3. Provide parents flexibility and choice through instructional learning options
    4. Deliver high-quality instruction to students


    While school will, no doubt, look different in the 2020-2021 school year, the commitment of the teachers, leaders and staff of Pinellas County Schools remains steadfast as we all strive for 100% Student Success.  That will mean ensuring that we work as a school community to adhere to all the processes put in place that are there to greatly decrease the spread of COVID-19.  And, for those families who are not ready to return to our school buildings we have high-quality instructional learning options to meet the needs of your student.

     This document is based upon the information known to the district as of the date of its publication and is intended to supersede any conflicting District rules, protocols, or guidelines during the time of its application.  Changes will likely be needed given the fluid nature of COVID-19 in society, including changes to community health data, amendments to applicable federal, state and local orders, and other circumstances. To continue to meet the needs of our community, this plan will be reviewed, adjusted and communicated, in alignment with any changes due to COVID-19. We want all stakeholders to be confident that Pinellas County Schools has the processes and procedures in place for a safe return to our buildings.


    Learning Options

    The district has worked closely with a local medical advisory group, used the latest health information, guidance from the CDC and your feedback to provide three learning options for Fall 2020.  View all learning options >