WESLEY CHAPEL, FL – Pasco School Superintendent Kurt Browning today announced a plan for returning to school in the fall. The plan, called ReOpening Pasco Schools, offers students three options for the 2020-2021 school year.
“Parents sent us a message loud and clear: they wanted options,” Browning said. “Many are eager to have their student return to school and see their teachers and classmates. But many aren’t ready for that yet. There’s an option here for everyone.”
Pasco is offering three options.
Traditional – A return to campus and classroom with the standard school schedule and bell times. This option includes a heavy emphasis on health and safety precautions. Students will practice safe social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Schools will use signage and consistent communication to discourage the gathering of large groups of students. Students will be expected to wear masks or cloth face coverings on the school bus, but masks will not be required in classrooms.
mySchool Online – Virtual learning with a connection to the student’s enrolled school. This option requires that students follow the standard school schedule and bell times. It features lessons and virtual interaction with teachers during each class period – all conducted online.
Virtual School – Online learning through Pasco’s nationally recognized Pasco eSchool. This model offers flexible scheduling and is taught by Pasco County teachers. Students work at their own pace can do school work during non-traditional hours.
In recent weeks, Pasco sought input from families and staff to learn what their comfort level and priorities were for the start of the school year. The district conducted focus groups and gathered ideas, thoughts, and concerns via a tool called ThoughtExchange. The huge and enthusiastic response made it clear that parents, students, and staff were very interested in how the district would handle the return to school. Primary among their concerns were cleanliness at school and the need for options.
The plan was announced in phone calls and emails to staff and families on Thursday. The next step is that families will be asked to choose an option for their student(s) by July 1. This will enable the school district to start making staffing decisions.
In Pasco, the school year begins on August 10.
The district website includes an introductory video from Superintendent Browning, a fuller description of the three options, as well as a set of FAQs. The website URL is https://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/reopening