Commonly Asked Questions
Q: How long will schools be closed?
A: On April 18, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that schools in Florida will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
Q: If schools are closed, does that mean instruction is over?
A: Definitely not! The Governor has said that distance learning will continue through the end of the school year. For Alachua County Public School students, the last day of school is Friday, May 29.
Q: Will students still get grades for this semester? Will they be graded on a pass/fail basis?
A: All public schools must still follow the grading policies set out in Florida law. At this point, the law does not allow for a pass/fail option. However, we’ve asked our teachers to keep each students’ unique circumstances and the overall challenges of this current crisis in mind as they develop grades.
Q: Does my child still have to take the FSA?
A: All state testing has been cancelled for this school year, including the FSA.
Q: What’s going to happen with graduation?A: While state testing requirements for this year's seniors have been eliminated, students must still earn all their required credits and a GPA of 2.0 to earn a standard high school diploma.A plan for graduation ceremonies is being developed following a survey conducted with all seniors and their families. The district is reviewing possible venues and discussing options with local health and county/city officials to determine if and how graduation ceremonies can be conducted safely and legally.
Q: How do I get my child’s school work/assignments?
A: You should already have been contacted by your child’s teacher(s) by email or phone. Teachers can help you with distance learning, which may be through the district’s online myPortal system or through paper packets available at the school. If you’ve not yet connected with your child’s teacher(s), please call the school.
Q: What if I don’t have a device or Internet at home?
A: Schools are lending out devices to students who need them. Contact your child’s school for more information. The district has also established a School Bus WiFi program, which sends buses equipped with hot spots out into high needs neighborhoods across the county. For more information about this program, including sites and a schedule, please visit https://bit.ly/34STXV2.
Both Cox Communications and At&T are offering free/reduced price internet access for this area. Information is available at cox.com/Connect2Compete (Cox) and https://m.att.com/shopmobile/internet/access/ or call (855) 220-5211.
Q: How do I get on to myPortal?
A: You will need to have a Skyward Family Access account, which allows you to get into the myPortal system and also check your child’s grades, attendance (when we get back to school) and other information. For help on setting up accounts and logging in, go to https://bit.ly/3eLpXiD. Additional technical support is available at (352) 955-7051.
Q: How can I get free meals for my child?
A: The district is providing breakfast and lunch for all children 0-18 at 78 sites throughout Alachua County, Mondays through Fridays. In addition, nearly 30 sites are providing suppers and snacks, and ten are providing a bag of locally-grown produce once a week to families. For a list of sites and a schedule, go to www.yourchoicefresh.com
Q: Summer Extended Day and Camp Crystal
A: Due to COVID-19, the district has made the difficult decision to cancel both Camp Crystal and the Extended Day Enrichment summer programs. Refunds will be provided to families that have already made payments. The staff members from both programs have reached out to families with more details.
Q. Will Alachua County be having summer school, either in person or online?A. We don't yet know the answer to those questions. The district is developing plans to provide online educational/enrichment opportunities for children and families for the summer. Whether schools will actually be open will depend on a number of factors, including the course of the virus, directives from the Florida Department of Education, federal, state and local guidelines and orders, etc.Q. Will meals be provided over the summer?A. For several years Alachua County Public Schools has provided free meals to children 0-18 at sites throughout the county during the summer, and we plan to do so again this summer.Q. When will schools open up again in the fall?A. The state of Florida recently conducted a survey of parents to get their input on the reopening of school. Districts have not yet received any information about when the state will decide how and when schools will reopen.
Q: Will the 5th grade Safety Patrol Trip still happen?
A: The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office has announced that due to COVID-19, the trip has been cancelled. Educational Tours, which organizes the trip, will be providing full refunds to parents. Your school's sponsor will work with families to arrange this.
Q: When and how can we get my child’s yearbook or items that they left behind at school? When and how do we return textbooks, devices or other items that need to come back to school?
A: We’ll be working with principals to plan for pick up and drop off at schools before and after the end of the school year.Individual schools are making and sharing those arrangements with families.