PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – It was the last board meeting for Pasco County district officials Tuesday before students arrive back on campuses the following Monday. The Pasco County Board Member meeting covered all last-minute details.

“Flexibility will be key this year,” said Don Peace, President of United School Employees of Pasco (USEP). “We’ve had a lot of conversation with district staff and expressed some concerns. It’s now time to get those concerns ironed out the best we can.”

Education officials brought in teams from every corner of the district to talk about any last minute changes or concerns to be voiced.

“We’re bringing students on and seating them by bus stop so that it’s almost like their own little bus cohort, if you will, where the kids who are at a stop together would get on the bus together and be seated by the back of the bus, then in the afternoon, that would be their seating chart as well,” said another Pasco County Schools staff member who took the podium.

Pasco school employees hit on everything from transportation to disinfecting classrooms and materials. “And then we’ll have hand sanitizer on every bus,” the speaker explained. But the majority of staff told board members they were ready to take on Monday’s new challenges. “On a daily basis, we used to spot clean desks and tables. Now, we’re disinfecting all tables and desks every night. Every single day, they’re disinfecting those door knobs and switches throughout the day, disinfecting walls, doors, cabinets, and furniture every night. Same thing with sinks. Sinks were done on a nightly basis, now we’re doing them throughout the day. Now we’re fully mopping every floor every night,” said Mark Fox, Director of Maintenance Services for Pasco County Schools.

Students and staff will be required to wear masks on school grounds. “We’ve put up thousands and thousands of arrows on the ground that directs the flow of traffic within the school, and face shields, we still have 5,462 on hand as of today. The disposable blue masks, we still have 1,450 of 50 [masks per box],” said Fox.

The district says they’ve been communicating with parents all summer and now they’re specifically urging parents to update contact info immediately so that you’ll know when a positive Covid case is detected. “If we have a positive case, here’s what happens. If your son or daughter was within close contact with someone who tested  positive, here’s what that means for you,” said Stephen Hegarty, Public Information Officer for Pasco County Schools.

“Many school openings, in Mississippi, Georgia and north Florida have been disrupted soon after students’ return to the classroom. Anxious? Certainly. Put optimistic and that together, we can work things out and make this a prosperous year for all of us,” said Peace.

Pasco County parents will be permitted to make student placement changes on August 31, 2020.

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