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Schools Delay Start Dates As Talks Continue About Safe Re-Opening

16 hours ago

Many local school districts have pushed back their start dates, as talks continue about how to re-open safely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the latest plans from around the greater Tampa Bay region:

Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis has asked the School Board to delay the start of school by two weeks to Aug. 24. The board will vote on this July 23. 

Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Michael Grego has also recommend delaying the school start date to August 24. The board is scheduled to vote July 28.

Hernando County’s School Board voted to delay reopening until August 31.

Pasco County School Board members on Tuesday night approved Superintendent Kurt Browning's call for a reopening date of August 24, with a return by teachers on August 17, out of concern for community health.

“Even with the delay, there are absolutely no guarantees that the infection rate will improve in that time,” Browning said in an online video.

Pasco County Superintendent Kurt Browning appears in a video explaining the reasons for the delay
Credit Pasco County Schools

“Or that we will have a clear idea of whether or not our community has turned the corner in terms of COVID-19,” he added.

“I believe the delay will give us our best shot at complying with state orders and creating a safe environment,” Browning said.

The Manatee County School Board has voted to delay the start of school a week until August 17. Teachers are to report August 3.

Polk County is planning to open August 24 at the earliest. Parents are asked to choose in-person or remote options by July 27.

Sarasota County is seeking a three-week delay, until August 31. The deadline for parents to choose remote or remote learning was July 20. If no response, the default is brick-and-mortar.

The plans to delay openings all have to be approved by the state Department of Education.