PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Students and educators in Pasco County should expect a full return to the classroom this fall, Superintendent Kurt Browning announced in a YouTube video.
"If you take anything away from this video message, it should be this: Based on recent positive trends we expect there will no longer be the need for mySchool Online option next school year. We expect the vast majority of our students to be back in the classroom for in-person learning," Browning said.
The elimination of the online option introduced as an alternative during the pandemic came after taking three things into consideration.
Browning says the school district has reached its conclusion with mySchool Online since the Florida Department of Education indicates that "such programs will not be offered by the state for the 21-22 school year."
In addition to that, the Pasco superintendent finds that COVID-19 cases regarding students and staff in the county have "decreased dramatically."
The final element is said to be the fact that the school district has helped get thousands of its staff vaccinated so far this year.
According to Browning, the number of students still choosing the online option has been decreasing and those who remain outside of the classroom are struggling.
"Despite our best efforts, our data show that many students that opted for mySchool online are not succeeding academically and would benefit from a return to in-person learning," he said.
The projected elimination of the mySchool online option carries no impact on Pasco eSchool, which is a program Browning says has served the school district for more than a decade.
The superintendent could not specify if masks will or won't be required to be worn by students and staff come next school year. The school district is going to wait to give clear guidance on the matter when it has a better idea of "what is possible."
"I assure you that we will do our part and we expect everyone to do their part to provide for a safe and healthy return to the classroom and workplace in the fall," Browning said in closing.
An FAQ email has been sent around to parents to help them navigate their options.
You can watch the full announcement below:
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