The majority of Pinellas County parents are opting to send their children to school virtually when the 2020-2021 school year begins, although the numbers aren’t final just yet.
According to information released by Pinellas County Schools Tuesday, roughly 60 percent of families chose online learning through MyPCS Online or Pinellas Virtual School. The remaining 40 percent selected traditional in-person instruction.
Under MyPCS Online, which was chosen by 24,457 families, students remain enrolled in their assigned school with all instruction being delivered virtually. More than 3,100 families opted for Pinellas Virtual School, which means their students will no longer be enrolled in their assigned schools.
Families had until 5 p.m. July 27 to make their selections. Those who didn’t will default to traditional in-person learning, unless they work directly with their child’s school to make a different selection.
Some parents took to social media to complain about issues with logging in to the school district’s reservation system, which opened on July 15. There was a rush of online traffic over the weekend and Monday as the deadline approached, according to Pinellas County School spokeswoman Isabel Mascareñas.
Those manning the Pinellas County Schools Facebook and Twitter accounts responded to a number of concerned parents with guidance on how to log in to make their choice, and to reassure them that they could reach out to their child’s school if they weren’t able to get through before the deadline.
Many parents and teachers have expressed concerns about reopening schools in the midst of a pandemic. During a school board meeting Tuesday night, the board approved superintendent Mike Grego’s recommendation to push the start date from Aug. 12 to Aug. 24. The last day of the 2020-2021 school year will be Wed., June 9, 2021. Thanksgiving, spring and winter breaks will remain the same.