School Closure Updates-3-30-20
Health and safety message
Update March 30th
Superintendent's Message to Families
March 30, 2020
Pinellas County Schools Community,
Thank you for your continued support during this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19. This afternoon, Governor DeSantis and the Department of Education extended their directive requiring all school districts in the state of Florida to close for students through May 1. While we know this extension is not ideal, the decision was made to ensure our students, families and staff remain healthy and safe.
We will continue to refine and improve our digital learning processes. Today was our first day of full implementation, and while there were some bumps, the transition was successful thanks to your cooperation and support.
We will also continue to distribute free meals throughout the closure. We are currently serving at nine school sites but will be ramping up over the next two weeks to ensure our students have access to nutritious meals. Distribution locations are available on the district’s website at www.pcsb.org/Page/32853.
We will continue to keep you updated on the latest information as it becomes available. Please monitor our social media channels and the district’s information page at www.pcsb.org/coronavirus.
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.
Pinellas County Schools
Digital Learning for Students
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 used 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.
Staff Reporting and Preparation
Staff should refer to the communication sent to their district email on March 16, 2020. Additional information will be sent directly to your district email in the upcoming days.
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
Pinellas County Schools Closure Announcement
March 13, 2020
Pinellas County Schools’ Community,
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.
Students/Families: We will continue to communicate with all stakeholders regarding the availability and expectations for digital learning during this time.
Staff: We will issue further instruction for staff regarding reporting and leave requirements in the upcoming days. Please be sure to monitor communications to inform your work status for the week of March 23-27.
Please note that FDOE has announced that statewide assessments that were scheduled during the first week of April will be postponed to dates that will be determined by the state.
We continue to coordinate with our local health officials, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Education and Pinellas County Emergency Management within the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Thank you for your continued commitment and service to our community, children and families during this rapidly changing time. We will continue to update the community of any changes through email, our website (https://www.pcsb.org/coronavirus) and social media.
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.