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Pinellas Schools to require students and staff to wear masks, according to 'ReOpening Plan' draft

Posted at 8:41 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 07:16:18-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Schools released a draft of its "ReOpening Plan" for the 2020-2021 school year.

Leaders say more than 43,000 families, students, and staff took the return to school survey and that's what they used to come up with the plan.

Pinellas County Schools will require all students, staff and visitors to wear masks as much as possible when social distancing isn't an option, according to the drafted plan. Masks are also required for everyone on the school bus, according to Pinellas County Schools.

All student and school district employees will get five free, reusable masks at the start of the school year, according to the drafted plan.

Leaders will write student's names on the masks to avoid contamination.

According to the district, anyone with a medical condition that does not allow them to wear a face-covering must provide medical documentation.

Staff will be trained to allow for safe mask breaks since it will be difficult for students to wear masks all day long.

The 37-page documentary highlights the district's "Health and Wellness Protocols" like cleaning and disinfecting the schools, how it would handle field trips, extracurricular activities and sports. The plan's draft also addresses how classrooms will be laid out to maximize social distancing.

On the district's reopening website, families can explore the three learning options offered for fall:

  • Traditional school
    • This includes face-to-face instruction with several safety changes in place for social distancing.
  • MyPCS Online
    • Nine-week commitment to full-time digital learning
    • Students would remain enrolled at their assigned schools
    • Students and teachers would engage in virtual instruction each day
    • Attendance requirement
  • Pinellas Virtual School
    • Students would no longer be enrolled at their assigned school
    • 18-week commitment
    • All instruction is virtual and self-paced
    • This has been an option for years

Families will need to make their choice on the learning option by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 27.

The district's school board is set to meet on Tuesday, July 14 to formally present the plan.

Parents will be able to fill out that form online and explore those options, once the district uploads more information on this website.

Below is a copy of the drafted plan: