This email is an update on the school district’s status regarding COVID-19 and our plans for the future.
Based on recent trends and initial guidance from the state, we will not offer the mySchool Online option next school year. We expect the vast majority of our students to be back in the classroom for in-person learning, and for our employees to return to the classroom or office.
Below is a set of Frequently Asked Questions.
How did you reach this conclusion?
The number of positive COVID-19 cases involving our students or staff have decreased dramatically since the high marks of January. We have seen occasional spikes, yet the overall trends are clear and they are promising. We continue to monitor the numbers closely – both in our schools and in the community at large.
Recent vaccinations are another promising sign. Thanks to our partnership with the Health Department and the efforts of our own employees, we have been able to vaccinate thousands of our employees.
What learning options will be available next school year?
At the start of the pandemic, our school district offered three learning options for students: traditional in-person learning, mySchool Online, and Pasco eSchool. Going forward, we expect the vast majority of students to attend school in person.
Pasco eSchool will remain as an option. It has been a nationally recognized option for Pasco students for more than a decade, and we plan no changes to our successful Pasco eSchool.
mySchool Online will no longer be an option.
Why are you eliminating mySchool Online?
The mySchool Online option was created as a temporary option during the pandemic. The Florida Department of Education only authorized Florida school systems to offer mySchool Online type options for the 2020-2021 school year, and current indications are that such programs will not be authorized by the state for the 2021-2022 school year.
Also, despite our best efforts, our data show that many students who opted for mySchool Online are not succeeding academically and would benefit from a return to in-person learning. There is also a growing body of evidence regarding the mental health benefits of attending school in person with classmates.
Will masks be required in the fall?
No final decision has been made regarding masks. At this time, the county still has a mask order in place, and that could change in the coming months. However, at this time we cannot say with any certainty whether masks will be required or optional, or some other status.
What options are available for medically fragile children?
For a small number of students, Hospital/Homebound is a service to continue instruction at home or in the hospital. Hospital Homebound is not a school of choice and state criteria for eligibility must be met. It is for students who are medically diagnosed as too medically compromised to attend school. Additional information regarding Hospital/Homebound can be found at this link.
I have more questions. Where can I go for answers?
You can submit questions and comments via Let’s Talk. We have created a “Trending Topic” called Education Options for 21-22 in Let’s Talk.