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Pinellas parents, staff and community are polled on school reopening

Pinellas joins Hillsborough and Pasco in surveying families about COVID risks
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Published Jun. 17, 2020
Updated Jun. 17, 2020

LARGO — Joining other large school systems, the Pinellas County School District is urging families to complete a back-to-school survey to help shape decisions concerning the risk of COVID-19.

The survey, which can be found on the school district website, went live on Monday and will close at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The survey measures participants’ comfort level in seeing schools reopen, probing issues such as modes of instruction, bus ridership, school cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing, protective equipment and how to screen for illness.

The survey also offers the opportunity to be part of a district feedback group.

Anyone in the community can take the survey, not just people who send their children or work in the schools. By contrast, the Hillsborough district sent its survey to staff and parents by email, so they could limit participation to people with a direct connection to the schools.

The Pasco district went an even different route, using focus groups and a “thought exchange” that allowed participants to make their own statements and rate each other’s statements.

Both the Pasco and Hillsborough results showed the public is fairly evenly divided between those who feel comfortable sending their children back to school in August, and those who are considering alternatives to avoid contracting or spreading the disease. Those results are similar among school employees.