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 worked throughout spring break to prepare for digital instruction, and to address questions from families and staff. We are committed to making decisions with the best interests of our students, families and staff in mind. Processes may not be optimal or perfect, but we are dedicated to continuously improving our supports for our staff, students and families during this time.
Pinellas County Schools will communicate regularly with our entire school community to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. The district has also established a webpage with the latest information at www.pcsb.org/coronavirus.
Below is some important information that will help families navigate in this new learning environment.
Digital Learning for Students
From Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27, 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 Family webpage at www.pcsb.org/DigitalLearnInfo.
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, a student’s teacher(s) will be able to give class-specific lessons and messages directly to their students.
This week, the district began distributing laptops and tablets for students in need. Parents received a message directly from the school’s principal on Monday with details on the distribution process.
Thanks to Spectrum, free WiFi is available to our students and teachers who qualify. WiFi hotspots across Spectrum’s footprint will also be available for public use. All learning resources for students and families, including frequently asked questions and how-to tutorials are available on our dedicated webpage at www.pcsb.org/DigitalLearnInfo.
Food & Nutrition Resources for Students
Our Food and Nutrition Team is distributing free meals at nine of our schools for Pinellas County Schools students ages 18 and younger. Each location is serving a lunch and breakfast, in a single bag.
While we encourage parents and caregivers to drive to our locations, we are also accepting walk-ups. Fairmount Park Elementary will provide meals at 10:15-11-15 a.m. and John Hopkins Middle School will provide meals 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The district is also working to share information with our families regarding community agencies that are providing meals. Location information is available from 211 Tampa Bay Cares: https://211tampabay.org/home/food-and-meals/ and Summer Break Spot: https://summerbreakspot.freshfromflorida.com/
Graduation ceremonies remain scheduled for late May 2020 and have not been canceled. Pinellas County Schools understands the importance of this milestone and continues to plan and prepare to host commencement exercises.
Student State Assessments
The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) announced that all PK-12 student state assessments will be cancelled for the 2019-20 school year. FDOE will continue to provide guidance to school districts regarding any potential impacts for students. As the district learns more information, we will share this with our students and families.
Where can I turn for more information?
Please only trust reliable information sources such as those linked below: