LARGO, Fla. — The Pinellas County School Board is meeting Tuesday to continue discussing its reopening plan.

As of now, students are set to return to classes on Aug. 24.

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Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego had said plans could change based on the current coronavirus case situation and right now, new cases are on a downward trend.

However, School Board Chairwoman Carol Cook said, for now, parents can count on school starting as planned on the 24th in Pinellas. The current plan in Pinellas involves a three-pronged approach including, students returning to classes, students studying virtually with PCS online or students enrolling with Pinellas Virtual School, where they are no longer enrolled at their traditional school and study at their own pace).

“Until I see different data and different information, I'm still at this point moving forward with the plan that has been approved,” Cook said.

At Tuesday’s workshop, board members will discuss any final tweaks that may be needed before reopening.

Cook added Pinellas is not considering pushing back the opening of brick and mortar schools like Hillsborough County.

Cook said over the last several months she's taken parents’ concerns into consideration as well as what health experts are saying.

She said the board has been weighing the risks and benefits of having students return to classrooms-- pointing out some students need the face to face interaction.

“Some need to be back with their friends and need that socialization for their mental health as well,” Cook said. “So we're having to take all of that into consideration and not just look at this as are we going to provide child care, or are we not?

“Are we going to be there for those who have to go back to work or are we going to allow those who are able to stay home do virtual?  It's a much larger picture than that.”

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