Back-to-School Year Info

Pershing School - Return to School Information – Updated: July 27th, 2020

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Greetings, Pershing Families! While there are several details that remain unknown regarding the return to school for the 2020-2021 school year, we did want to create a short FAQ for families to refer to as you all consider your options. Please understand that this current situation is fluid and plans from the state level on down may change. We will frequently update this information page as we learn more about reopening.

1. Will Pershing School be open for the 2020-2021 school year?

Yes, per the Florida DOE order, all Florida public schools must be open and provide face-to-face instruction for all students that wish to attend. Link to DOE order:

It is important to note here that school starts for ALL students on August 10th using the [email protected] platform until August 20th. 

Starting on August 21st, Pershing School will open for students to attend face-to-face. Families that chose to attend Pershing through the [email protected] model will continue to attend school online at home until at least the end of the first 9 weeks of school.

2. What are our family’s options regarding sending students to Pershing or keeping them home during the pandemic?

All OCPS families were asked to select one of three options:

1. Returning to school for face-to-face instruction
2. Withdrawing from Pershing School and enrolling in Orange County Virtual School (OCVS) for 100% online instruction
3. Remain enrolled here at Pershing, but designate your child for “[email protected]”, which would be a commitment for at least the first marking period.

The registration survey to log in your choice closed on August 27th.

3. Will [email protected] look the same as Distance Learning did at the end of the last school year?

This depends on how many students register for [email protected] One suggested model for [email protected] is to simply have our teachers live stream their classes as they are happening with your child following along and participating from home. Another model could be that one or more teachers on each grade level team teach [email protected], broadcasting online during the regular school day schedule. However we end up executing [email protected], your child will be expected to sign in and participate in school during the regular school day hours.

In the middle school grades, [email protected] may consist of teachers streaming their classes as they happen, or designated teachers work only with the [email protected] families while other teachers teach face-to-face (again, it depends on how many families pick [email protected] and what direction we get from the district).

4. Does the school have a suggestion as to which model families should select?

The district as a whole is encouraging families to pick the “[email protected]” option if your family can do that. This option keeps your child enrolled here at Pershing and connected with the school and our staff until it is safe for the school to return to normal operations.

5. Will students eat in the cafeteria?

Elementary students might eat in their classrooms or in the cafeteria, depending on how many families pick [email protected] and if we receive more specific direction regarding food service for students. If students are going to eat in the cafeteria, school staff will enforce social distancing and follow CDC guidelines

Middle grades students will likely still eat in the cafeteria, but with assigned seating to ensure proper distancing.
6. Will there be recess for elementary schoolers?

Elementary students will still have recess, although they would not be able to use playground equipment. Recesses may be held inside the classrooms like we do on rainy days and then outside on other days, but we will also have to take required precautions including social distancing. Students would not be allowed to handle the same toys or balls, for example, during recess like they normally would.

7. I’ve heard that families are encouraged to carpool to school this year. Why is that?

OCPS is encouraging families to carpool in order to reduce the amount of students requiring a school bus to get here. This will help the district keep the numbers of students on busses low in order to help the students maintain a safe social distance from each other.

8. What happens if a student or staff member gets Covid-19 after the reopening?

At this time, we are awaiting direction from the district regarding the procedures for handling and reporting positive Covid-19 cases among students and staff.

In the event of a school shut-down, all students will continue to attend Pershing from home utilizing the [email protected] model.

9. Will middle school students still switch classes throughout the day?

As of now, the plan is still for middle grade students to transition throughout the day. Teachers and staff will monitor transitions and enforce mask wearing and maintaining social distance during class transitions. Certain hallways and stairwells will have to be designated for directional foot traffic, similar to a grocery store.

10. Will 5th and 4th grades still departmentalize (switch classes) during the day?

The plan now is still to have 4th and 5th grades departmentalized with students switching classes. This may change as we learn more about how many students plan to attend face to face or if we get direction from the district regarding departmentalized elementary school programs.

11. Will there still be PE?

Elementary and middle school students attending face to face will still have PE in some form. CDC guidelines will be enforced which will make PE look a lot different than it normally does. Both middle and elementary PE departments are working on planning lessons and activities that comply with CDC guidelines while also giving students opportunities to be physically active. It is reasonable to think that PE will consist of a lot more individual workouts and activities. 

12. What happens if a student does not adhere to CDC guidelines and social distancing during the school day?

Refusing to follow health safety procedures will result in a discipline referral and possible suspension from school.

13. Will students have to wear masks and get their temperature checked?

Yes, all students attending face to face must wear masks. Students may have their temperature checked upon arrival or during the school day.

14. What happens if a student starts to feel ill while attending school? 

We will designate a separate room for students to be supervised while experiencing possible Covid-19 symptoms (headache, fever, chills, sore throat, etc…) which will allow the school clinic to operate as it usually does for students that have cuts, bumps and bruises or need to take meds. When a student reports experiencing symptoms to us, we will call home to have the student picked up.

15. We do not live in Pershing's zone, but my kids attend Pershing on an approved transfer. Do we lose our transfer if we do not send our kids to attend face-to-face this year?

All approved transfers for the 2020-2021 school year will also be honored during the 2021-2022 school year. If you select [email protected], your student is still technically enrolled at Pershing which means that you are using your transfer even though your child is not physically attending. If your family leaves to attend OCVS this year, we will still honor the transfer if you chose to return next year.

16. What kind of air filters are used in Pershing's A/C system?

Pershing School's AHU’s (Air Handling Unit) have MERV 8 filters. The system uses Bi Polar Ionization in each Air Handling Unit, a process by which the air molecules are charged to better stick to the MERV 8 filters.