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Tampa Bay school districts release 2020 reopening plans in midst of coronavirus pandemic

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FILE – In this April 15, 2019, file photo, instructors from Raphael House lead a classroom discussion about consent and healthy relationships with a class of sophomores at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore. Most young Americans believe in the value of higher education, but many also believe that a high school diploma alone is enough for success, and they view job training as better preparation than any type of college degree, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With over 85,000 total cases of the coronavirus in the state of Florida. Many bay area counties are getting ready for possible changes for the upcoming school year.

As of Thursday evening, the Florida Health Department has reported 3,061 deaths statewide from coronavirus.

Here’s a breakdown of how school districts are preparing in Tampa Bay area counties:

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis says students would not be required to wear masks, but they may do so if they choose to.

Davis added that providing a mask for every student would cost the district $9 million a month to purchase single-use masks for all 220,000 students, while staff will be provided reusable masks.

The district will also provide sanitizing products in classrooms and common areas.

The overall plan will be presented to the school board on June 23.

Pasco County

Pasco County schools are providing three options for students and parents as they prepare for the 2020 school year.

The options include:

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.

The school year is set to begin Aug. 10. Parents with questions are asked to visit the school district’s website.

Polk County

Polk County Public Schools’ reopening task force held its second meeting Wednesday, during which members were instructed to move forward with plans for physically reopening schools and offering virtual enrollment for the 2020-21 school year.

Polk County Public Schools is planning to reopen schools for traditional, face-to-face instruction in August.

For additional information, please visit polkschoolsfl.com/reopening.

Citrus County

The Citrus County School District has released two options for 2020-21 enrollment.

Families have two choices:

• Return to school campuses for in-person instruction with enhanced health and safety precautions in place
• Enroll in Citrus Virtual School Full-Time (semester commitment)

Parents who choose to enroll in Citrus Virtual School, will be directed to complete a new enrollment registration form that must be completed by July 11th. Families who do not select an option by July 11th will default to being an enrolled student at their child’s brick-and-mortar school.

To learn more about the enrollment process click here.

Manatee County

The School District of Manatee County is inviting the community to provide feedback during a special School Board Workshop discussing back-to-school plans for the 2020-2021 year. It will begin at 10 a.m. on June 25.

Five locations will open for Public Comment to those who register in advance and agree to following CDC guidelines upon entering the sites. The locations include Bayshore High School, Lakewood Ranch High School, Palmetto High School, Southeast High School and the School Support Center near Downtown Bradenton. Public comments will be heard from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and due to time constraints, will be limited to two minutes.

Participants visiting any of the five locations must agree to: a temperature check upon entering; passing through a security check; wearing a mask or face covering; and being present at their reserved time when their name is called. The public must limit comments to the topic of reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 year.

The Board Workshop is a discussion only and a decision regarding the reopening of schools will be made at a later date.

Hernando County

Hernando County plans to hold a school board meeting on June 23 at 6 p.m. Those who would like submit comments or questions are asked to do so before 5 p.m. on June 22.

The school board meeting is closed to public attendance but can be watched here.

As of June 18, Sarasota County and Manatee County have not provided plans for reopening.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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