The Florida Department of Education has ordered all schools in Florida to be closed through May 1st due to concerns about coronavirus. More information is available on our Coronavirus Information page.

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Coronavirus Updates

Launching eLearning in HCPS - March 30, 2020

As we launch eLearning this week, I wanted to take a minute to thank each of you for your continued hard work and willingness to support all efforts during these trying times. For the most part, we have used our “Set Up for Success Week” to distribute mobile devices where needed, provide essential nutrition, communicate learning expectations, and define working conditioning for all. Therefore, starting on Monday, I want to make certain we have a minimal number of staff members on each school and district site. I am asking that all employees follow the plan below as we continue to follow the CDC and Health Department’s guidelines:

District Buildings

All employees should be working remotely, if available. Only essential employees should be present:

  • Cabinet Members (Operations, HR, Business Services, Teaching and Learning, Student Services, Chief of Schools, Communications, IT, Chief of Safety)
  • Select Support Professionals (when needed)
  • Security Personnel
  • Custodial Staff
  • Maintenance Personnel

Cabinet Members may ask pockets of employees to come in, to complete tasks such as payroll, processing, or assist with eLearning Hotlines on a needed basis and rotational schedule.

School Sites

In order to remain open for students in need and provide the necessary essentials for eLearning, the following expectation must be followed:

  • One Administrator must be on campus during operational hours
  • One Front Office staff as needed (Principals must build rotation schedule)
  • Security Personnel will be on campus or assigned to "Grab and Go" Meal Services
  • Custodial Staff
  • Transportation Personnel
  • Food Nutrition
  • Maintenance Personnel

Principals may ask a limited number of employees to assist with device or instructional packet distribution for parents. Each Principal will be required to take the following actions:

  • Establish a rotational schedule where ONE administrator is on campus during operational hours with essential staff a needed. This person must remain in the front office area. An example of the rotation schedule is below:

    Elementary School with Two Administrators

    Administrator Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Addison Davis On-Site Coverage On-Site Coverage 8:00am - 12:00pm Work Remotely Work Remotely
    Jane Smith Work Remotely Work Remotely 12:00pm - 4:00pm On-Site Coverage On-Site Coverage

    Secondary School with Three Administrators
    Week A

    Administrator Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Addison Davis On-Site Coverage Work Remotely Work Remotely On-Site Coverage Work Remotely
    Jane Smith Work Remotely On-Site Coverage Work Remotely Work Remotely On-Site Coverage
    John Doe Work Remotely Work Remotely On-Site Coverage Work Remotely On-Site Coverage

    Week B

    Administrator Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Addison Davis Work Remotely On-Site Coverage Work Remotely Work Remotely 7:00am - 10:00am
    Jane Smith Work Remotely Work Remotely On-Site Coverage Work Remotely 10:00am-1:00pm
    John Doe On-Site Coverage Work Remotely Work Remotely On-Site Coverage 1:00pm-4:00pm
  • Custodial Staff members will need to be assigned to specific buildings and classrooms and eliminate their presence in other parts of the school building.
  • Student Nutrition Services will be assigned to the cafeteria and should not walk through the school.
  • Security Personnel should remain on campus and practice social distancing, which is 6 feet away from all.
  • Teachers and Support Professionals should continue to work remotely and if there is need to come to the school to obtain materials, they must schedule a time with the administrator on campus.

For schools that are continuing to distribute mobile devices, you will need to have another administrative staff person onsite, along with other supports, to assist with this process. You will need to have a clearly defined location outside of the school and please continue to limit interaction.

I cannot stress enough that employees who are experiencing symptoms of illness or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should NOT come to work nor visit any district facility. All front office areas will be cleaned Monday morning with our COVID-19 Disinfectant. We want to ensure all essential staff are in a clean and healthy work environment.

As a reminder, teachers are expected to outline hours of availability online, when students and parents can expect prompt answers to questions. But students should not be expected to have set hours, because of the circumstances in each household (working around shared devices, parents' work schedules, etc.) so no timed attendance or mandatory online meetings for attendance should be scheduled. Attendance can be determined by activity in Edsby during a day or other methods, which you should determine in advance and share with your students.

Professional Development

Additional professional development sessions will be offered this week. Please feel free to take advantage of all sessions as needed. The list of professional development opportunities are listed below and you can sign up through our Professional Development System: Teacher Training Webinars - Week of March 30th

In addition, the following self-paced webinars will be offered this week as well:

  • eLearning with MyOn
    This webinar is for Elementary Teachers. Participants will learn how to navigate MyOn, a student-centered, personalized literary library of 6000 digital books, to enhance elementary lessons.
  • Delivering a Live Nearpod Lesson in Zoom
    Participants will learn how to incorporate a live NearPod lesson into Zoom.
  • eLearning with Wakelet In this online training, participants will learn to use Wakelet as an easy way to capture, organize and share multi-media resources with students, teachers, and learning communities.
  • Using FlipGrid to host virtual book clubs
    In this online webinar, participants will harness the power of FlipGrid to host virtual book clubs, bringing readers together even when apart. Literary lovers of all ages will be inspired to utilize FlipGrid to share their love of reading with peers, while fostering natural discussions that lead to meaningful text connections.

Important Employee Leave Information - COVID 19

We recognize we are dealing with challenging times and appreciate all of your efforts this week to ensure our students, and families, are set up for success as we move into eLearning opportunities during school closures. As we transition to next week, I want to make certain that each employee understands our expectations related to the safety and well-being of our workforce and schools. Starting on Monday, March 30th, any employee who is experiencing symptoms of illnesses related to the coronavirus, should NOT come to work and must follow the guidelines outlined by the Department of Health.

The only employees who have been asked to report to their worksites, at this time, are as followed:

  • Cabinet level personnel
  • Senior Staff
  • Principal Supervisors
  • Principals
  • Assistant Principals
  • Student Nutrition Services
  • Security
  • Transportation Personnel
  • Maintenance
  • Custodial Staff Personnel
  • Select Secretary Positions (Identified by Cabinet)

With the recent passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, new provisions of the law become applicable beginning on April 1st, 2020 which can be found in the (FFCRA) for eligibility requirements.

In addition, all persons over 65 years of age are urged to stay home and to take all other safety measures necessary to limit your risk of exposure to COVID-19. All persons that have a serious underlying medical condition that places them at a high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are urged to stay home and to take other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19. Consistent with CDC guidance, such conditions include, but are not limited to, chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; immunocompromised status, including those in cancer treatment; and severe obesity.

Employee Leave Information

Any employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or any employee directed to self-isolate by a medical professional or government agency will be placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of their isolation. The employer will require documentation of the diagnosis for review. Employees who choose to self-isolate out of concern for their health or another reason will follow normal work rules applicable to the use of paid vacation, personal, and sick time. All employees in an unpaid leave status because of this health crisis, shall not be disciplined.

Effective April 1st the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Please reference the attached FFCRA Flow chart to review available leave options beginning on April 1st. Since it is not clear what employers will need to seek reimbursement we have created the following leave forms (Form 1 - Emergency Sick Leave Form | Form 2 - Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion) to track employee requests. This will ensure proper implementation of the rights you are afforded. We will continue to work with our employee unions to address continued implementation guidelines and rest assured that we will work to protect and support employees during these challenging times.

If you should have any questions, please contact your site’s Human Resources Department Representative or Human Resources Employee Relations Department at (813) 840-7139 to discuss your eligibility for paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Set Up for Success Week Webinar Update - March 25, 2020

From this point forward, if you still need access to one of the webinars for “Set Up for Success Week”, please check within Moodle for the content. More specific instructions to access the courses are included in the attached document, but you can easily view the available webinar courses by using the following link https://pdo.sdhc.k12.fl.us/course/index.php?categoryid=113.

This week we have seen unprecedented demand for our eLearning professional development offerings. The courses offered as part of our “Set Up for Success” Webinars have filled quickly, and the surge in PDS traffic of individuals looking for available seats has started to overwhelm the system. As a result, we have implemented an alternate plan to ensure that every individual has access to the content provided in these webinars.

Effective immediately, we are placing video recordings of the webinar material in Moodle so that they are accessible to all employees. We currently have half of the webinar courses ready to view, and we are adding the remaining topics as they become available. We will continue to monitor the Moodle platform to ensure that it remains available to all of you. We will also continue to offer live webinars throughout this week and next in order to meet the learning needs of our teachers but we ask that you restrict activity on the PDS system until after 4:00 pm each day. This will help the FirstClass email system function appropriately during the work day. The recorded courses on Moodle can be accessed at any time.

Your commitment to providing our students with the best eLearning experience possible is second to none, and this dedication is evident in the overwhelming demand for professional development topics this week. We will continue to deliver the resources that you need in order to serve our students, and we thank you for the courage and flexibility you have already shown.

Update regarding eLearning - March 20, 2020

Yesterday afternoon, the state offered each school district more time for our students, parents, teachers and staff to prepare to implement our eLearning Contingency Plan, which will move high-quality learning online while our schools are closed. We are going to utilize this time to refine our plan and ensure our families and teachers have access to the resources they need for this major undertaking.

FLDOE Timeline

We will use the week of March 23–March 27 to establish systems and processes for virtual teaching, along with providing adequate time for our learners to obtain all necessary resources. The first week will be called our "Set Up for Success Week". While we are prepared to launch our eLearning Plan at any time, we will be starting eLearning on March 30th, which matches the Florida Department of Education’s timeline.

Hillsborough's Updated Timeline

March 23rd - 27th: Prepare
March 30th: Launch eLearning

We must make the most of this time, so we will use the following timeline during our “Set Up for Success Week” to prepare for a flawless launch:

Monday, March 23rd

  • Teachers Obtain Necessary Materials for Learning (all schools)
  • "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Meals (23 specified schools)
  • Schools Prepare for Mobile Device Distribution (all schools)
  • Schools Prepare to Print Instructional Packets for Students in Need (elementary schools)
  • District Personnel Provide Schools with Additional Devices (schools identified with high need)
  • District Provides Detailed eLearning Plan that Defines Roles and Responsibilities (online)
  • District Opens eLearning, Mental Health, IT Support, & General Question Hotlines
Call Hotlines Number Operation Times Days of Operation
eLearning Support (813) 272-4785 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Technology Support (813) 272-4786 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Mental Health Support (813) 272-4787 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
General Questions (813) 272-4788 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Scroll left to right to view full table.

Tuesday, March 24th

  • Teachers Obtain Necessary Materials for Learning (all schools)
  • "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Meals (23 specified schools)
  • Schools Prepare for Mobile Device Distribution (all schools)
  • Schools Prepare to Print Instructional Packets for Students in Need (elementary schools)
  • District Personnel Provide Schools with Additional Devices (schools identified with high need)
  • Principals and School Staff Contact Non-Responsive Parents to Determine Device Needs (all schools)
  • District Communications Sends Information for Parents for Device Checkouts (via ParentLink)
  • District Provides Professional Learning for Digital Platforms (online)

Wednesday, March 25th

  • Principals Host Microsoft Teams or Zoom Meeting with Staff to Share Expectations for eLearning (online)
  • "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Meals (23 specified schools)
  • Principals & IT Begin Distributing Mobile Devices to All Parents/Guardians in Need (all schools)
  • Principals Begin to Schedule Pick-up for Printed Instruction Materials (elementary schools)
  • Teachers Begin Establishing Lessons for eLearning for Students (working remotely)
  • District Provides Professional Learning for Digital Platforms (online)
  • District Communications Sends Information for Parents for Device Checkouts (via ParentLink)

Thursday, March 26th

  • Principals Host Microsoft Teams or Zoom Meeting with Staff to Share Expectations for eLearning (online)
  • "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Meals (23 specified schools)
  • Principals & IT Begin Distributing Mobile Devices to All Parents/Guardians in Need (all schools)
  • Principals Begin to Schedule Pick-up for Printed Instruction Materials (elementary schools)
  • Teachers Begin Establishing Lessons for eLearning for Students (working remotely)
  • District Provides Professional Learning for Digital Platforms (online)
  • District Communications Sends Information for Parents for Device Checkouts (via ParentLink)

Friday, March 27th

  • Principals Send Communications to All Teachers, Students, and Parents to Launch eLearning (all schools)
  • Teachers Send Communications to Students Beginning to Define Communication Protocols and Layout Weekly Assignment and Tasks (via Edsby)
  • "Grab and Go" Breakfast and Lunch Meals (23 specified schools)
  • Principals & IT Begin Distributing Mobile Devices to All Parents/Guardians in Need (all schools)
  • Principals Begin to Schedule Pick-up for Printed Instruction Materials (elementary schools)
  • District Sends Communications to all Parents to Launch eLearning (via ParentLink)

Monday, March 30th

  • eLearning Begins for All Learners in Hillsborough County Public Schools

While I am confident that all content is prepared to launch, we want to make certain that we spend next week providing all learners and educators will the necessary tools and information to be successful. If teachers pull comfortable that students are ready and eager to turn during our “Set up for Success Work”, then please feel free to engage our leaners and push them to interact with content. The only request that I have is to use this week as an intellectual enrichment week and that we do not assign content that will be graded but more to start the eLearning process where available.

Update from Superintendent Davis - March 18, 2020

Over the last few days, I have been in constant contact with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) and Commissioner Corcoran to discuss expectations for school districts and how we will collectively transition to supporting all students from an eLearning perspective.

Rest assured that the Florida Department of Education understands we are in an unprecedented time across the state and our nation is working together to protect the well-being of all communities. It is Hillsborough County Public Schools’ number one priority to keep our students, teachers, staff and campuses safe as we work to ensure all students continue to grow intellectually and master grade level standards.

During my conversations with FLDOE, Commissioner Corcoran made it clear that while our campuses are closed, learning is open. To update each of you on the relevant topics we discussed, please find the following key factors related to our work:

12th Grade Students

  • The FLDOE will be waiving all graduation requirements related to Seniors who are projected to graduate this Spring who have not met the requirements for Algebra I EOC (End of Course) or English Language Arts FSA or received a concordant score. Students must finish the Spring semester and meet all other requirements.
  • FLDOE is working with the CDC to discuss future plans for High School Graduations. More information will be forthcoming and as soon as I have information, I promise to share.

Extension of Instructional Hours

  • FLDOE believes that all school districts will be able to complete the 4th Semester on time and within the School Board Adopted Calendar. Therefore, the current expectation is to finish the remainder of the school year as previously scheduled.

State Assessment Updates

  • All state administered assessments are canceled for the 2019-20 school year.
  • School Grades will not be calculated and will not be recorded for the 2019-20 school year.
  • Students who are not Seniors this year, will be required to pass the 10th grade ELA and Algebra I assessment at a later date.
  • Non-seniors in an EOC course will no longer be required to take this assessment as a part of their final grade for the class nor for promotional requirements. Non-seniors will be required to obtain state required concordant scores for graduation. At this time, all EOC requirements are waived and students will receive course credit dependent on assignments, tests, and other course grades.
  • 3rd Grade FSA will not be used for promotional requirements. The decisions on 3rd grade promotions will be made in consultation with parents, teachers, and school leaders. The decision to promote a student will be based on classroom performance throughout the school year.

eLearning

  • All school districts will be required to launch and successfully implement an eLearning Continuity Plan. District will work to define roles and responsibilities for all personnel. Hillsborough’s plan is available now at www.HillsboroughSchools.org/coronavirus. Please review it as soon as possible. We will be adding to this plan in the coming days and sharing updates with employees.
  • School districts will identify strategies for supporting students with IEP and 504 plans and this information should be included in all Continuity of Learning plans whether it is virtual or specialized instruction. Hillsborough is currently identifying how to ensure a full array of services, even if the services must be delayed.
  • All teachers assigned to students will be required to create assignments, provide feedback, support learners, and give grades. The only difference is that grades will be provided in an eLearning capacity and Spring semester grades will be expected for all learners.
  • Colleges and universities are working to ensure students will get credit for Dual Enrollment classes. More information will follow as we learn more from the FLDOE.

Miscellaneous

  • All schools that have been identified in DA Status will remain the same status for the 2020-21 School Year. All schools under this umbrella will continue to implement their current turnaround plans that have been state board approved. Districts may submit at district level changes to the state board for review.
  • Eligibility for Bright Futures will be assessed at a later time. The state will address this issue at a future date.
  • IB, AP, and AICE Assessments are during reviewed with each company to determine next steps. As I learn more, I will share with all.

In the near future, we will send additional plans that will provide technical assistance and clarify expectations. As we seek to launch our eLearning Plan and “Grab and Go” food pickup sites on Monday, March 23rd, please know that we will lead with a continuous improvement mindset; We will get better daily in our efforts and delivery.

Looking Ahead

As we learn more information from the Florida Department of Education and develop internal plans, I will continue to keep each of you informed. I encourage each of you to continue to remain connected to our communication platforms and follow all recommendations outlined by the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All relevant information related to eLearning and continuing the instructional process can be found on our website at www.HillsboroughSchools.org/coronavirus.

Update from Superintendent Davis - March 17, 2020

Effective immediately, Governor DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Corcoran have closed all schools in the state of Florida through April 15th. Therefore, all instruction will be extended virtually from March 23rd until April 15th. Please know that staff will be working diligently to build upon the current eLearning Plan and define the roles and responsibilities for every employee within or organization. Once expectations are clearly established, we will work to ensure that professional development, using webinars, is extended to all.

For your information, below are highlights captured from my conference call this evening:

K-12 School Districts

  • All public and private K-12 and career and technical center campuses are closed through April 15, 2020.
  • Schools are encouraged to operate virtually or through other non-classroom-based means to the greatest extent possible to implement distance learning.
  • To support students with identified IEP-related services who may have a disruption in services, school districts are given flexibility for the remainder of the school year to provide alternative services or delay services until later in the summer months, in coordination with a student’s parents and IEP team.

Assessments, Accountability and Promotion

  • All remaining statewide assessments for school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten, and K-12 assessments are cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Requirements for graduation and promotion, and final course grades, will be evaluated as though those cancelled assessments did not exist.
  • K-12 school grades will not be calculated for 2019-2020 and schools in turnaround may continue their current status for 2020-2021 to avoid disruption to school leadership and operations.
  • Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data and results. Tests that were not available to be taken shall not be counted.

Instructional Hours

  • The Commissioner may reduce required instructional hours as necessary to accommodate for closures.

Funding

  • The Florida Department of Education and K-12 school districts are instructed to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from Reading Scholarship Accounts, the Reading Instruction Allocation, the Digital Classroom Allocation and the Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program to help low-income students purchase digital devices and establish Internet services.
  • In order to facilitate the remote connection between teachers and students, K-12 school districts are further permitted to redirect unspent Title 2 funds to help low-income students purchase digital devices and establish Internet services.
  • K-12 school districts are permitted to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from the Safe Schools and Mental Health allocations to virtual and telephonic mental health counseling services for students who need emotional support due to COVID-19.

Teachers

  • For the next 120 days, exam fees for teacher certification-related examinations will be waived, and test takers who were unable to take an exam due to test site locations closing will be granted an extension to meet these requirements.

Mass Gatherings and Community Events

  • Commissioner Corcoran urges adherence to the CDC’s guidance for higher-risk populations by cancelling any mass gatherings, community events and extracurricular activities, including sports of more than 10 people in a single occupied space at any educational program, school readiness, voluntary prekindergarten, public and private K-12, career and technical centers, and public and private colleges and universities. For our district, this means all extracurricular events and athletics are cancelled through April 15.

School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten Programs

  • Commissioner Corcoran strongly recommend school readiness and voluntary prekindergarten programs adhere to the CDC’s guidance for higher-risk populations by limiting students and employees to no more than 10 people convening in a single occupied space, therefore breaking students into groups as necessary, maintaining social distancing best practices and proper hygiene.

While I understand that there are many questions that still remain, we are still gathering information from the state and our team. We will continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions page at www.HillsboroughSchools.org/coronavirusas so please stay tuned.

Updated Employee Expections and Return Dates

Personnel Worksite Expectations for Return Date to Return
Cabinet, Executive Staff, & Select District Staff District Offices Select staff will be required to attend work. Select staff includes cabinet members and senior staff. Select district-level employees will contact employees who are in need. March 23rd
Principals & Assistants Principals Schools Required to work at school sites March 23th
Instructional Staff & Non-Instruction Support Working Remotely

Required to work remotely on eLearning. Teachers are expected to guide their students’ learning. They can use their own lessons, or lessons in core areas uploaded by district staff. Teachers will need to work virtually to assign tasks and answer questions, etc. for students. We will be providing more direction on how to extend instruction, communicate with stakeholders, provide instructional supports, take attendance, etc.

Teachers may gain access on Monday, March 23rd and Tuesday, March 24th to classrooms in order to obtain content and materials. This is not to go to your classroom to work, this is to visit classrooms to obtain materials and exit the school.

Deep cleaning will begin on Wednesday, March 25th and school-based traffic will be limited.

March 23rd
(Remotely)
Custodial Staff Members Schools Required to work at school sites March 23rd
Student Nutrition Services Staff Schools Required to work at school sites March 23th
Maintenance Staff Schools & District Required to work at assigned sites March 23th
Security Personnel District & Schools Required to work at assigned sites March 23rd
Transportation Staff Transportation Essential staff only will be required to work. Supervisors will contact needed staff members. March 23rd

Mayor's Press Conference

This morning Mayor Jane Castor provided community directives that require restaurants to operate at 50% and to ensure closures by 10:00 p.m. Additionally, an order was announced restricting public gatherings to 50 people and private gatherings to no more than 10. To comply with this order, I am asking that all personnel take the necessary steps to comply with this recommendation.

Student Meals

In my first communication, I identified locations where our school district will offer "Grab and Go" meals for all individuals 18 years old and under regardless of where they attend school. Our mission is to ensure that eligible children and adolescents within our community receive proper nutrition during breakfast and lunch hours.

We have decided to add two additional locations (Sligh Middle and Mort Elementary), which bring us to a total of 23 locations serving our children. Beginning March 23rd, these sites will be open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. until school resumes. For your review, the following locations will be open:

Food & Nutrition Sites
Alonso High School Hillsborough High School Plant City High School
Armwood High School Jefferson High School Reddick Elementary School
Blake High School King High School Rodgers Middle School
Brandon High School Lennard High School Smith Middle School
Chamberlain High School Leto High School Spoto High School
Durant High School Madison Middle School Strawberry Crest High School
East Bay High School Middleton High School Wharton High School
Mort Elementary School Sligh Middle School

In addition to our efforts, Feeding Tampa Bay will also open sites to assist our community. More information can be found through the following link www.FeedingTampaBay.org.

Please share this information will all community members as a way to increase our outreach and make a difference for our children.

Looking Ahead

As we learn more information from the Florida Department of Education and develop internal plans, I will continue to keep each of you informed. I encourage each of you to continue to remain connected to our communication platforms and follow all recommendations outlined by the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All relevant information related to eLearning and continuing the instructional process can be found on our website at www.HillsboroughSchools.org/coronavirus.

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