Board adopts plan for start of 2020-2021 school year

Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 4:30pm
with Supplemental In-person Opportunities

Plan includes remote learning and some periodic, in-person opportunities

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On July 29, the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Superintendent Chris Gdowski's recommended plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year*. 

This adopted plan takes into consideration three key priorities as outlined by Superintendent Gdowski: 1. Safety, 2. Family Needs, 3. Efficiency (i.e. greater predictability and a consistent learning model).

All students in the Five Star District will begin the school year on Thursday, Aug. 27 with remote learning and some periodic, small group in-person opportunities. Remote learning will continue for all students through at least Friday, Sept. 25.

Starting the school year later than previously scheduled will allow staff professional development time with the district’s new and enhanced remote learning platform and curriculum, and give schools time to plan in-person opportunities to welcome students, staff and families back for the new year.

Remote Learning

Students and families can expect a mix of synchronous (live teaching) and asynchronous (on demand) instruction this fall, though most instruction will be synchronous.

District educators will utilize new curriculum from Florida Virtual Schools, which will be supplemented and enhanced by incorporating the district’s own Adams 12 Units of Study. Online versions of district electives, specials, honors and Advanced Placement courses will be developed to ensure students still have access to a robust selection of learning options. Students will be taught by Five Star Schools educators who are part of the staff at their school.

Daily instruction during remote learning will be provided through Schoology and Seesaw (elementary students). The use of these dedicated learning platforms will mean fewer logins and platforms for students, parents and teachers to use. 

For more information about remote learning, including expectations for students, parents/guardians and staff by level, visit

Supplemental In-person Opportunities

During remote learning from Aug. 27 through Sept. 25, students will have periodic in-person opportunities to engage with fellow students and school staff. 

  1. All Students - all students will have the opportunity to connect in-person, in small groups with their classroom teacher (elementary) or assigned advisor (secondary) on a periodic basis.

  2. Students in special populations - some in-person instruction will be available each week for students with disabilities, English language learners, students with an advanced learning plan, preschoolers and specialized groups as staffing is available.

  3. Learning Pods - families, based on personal need or circumstances, can submit an interest form beginning the week of Aug. 3 for their child to be part of daily no-cost learning pods during standard school hours. Once learning pods are established, families will be notified of their student’s Learning Pod schedule/frequency based on interest and staffing availability. 

Learning Pods

The district recognizes our families, based on personal need or circumstances, may need a place for their students to engage independently in remote learning in a safe and productive environment during standard school hours. In order to support our students and families with this need, the district will offer Learning Pods for students in grades K-8 at schools across the district based on enrollment interest and staffing availability. 

Staff members in these pods will not provide instruction to participating students. That responsibility will remain with the student's assigned teacher or teachers. 

More information about Learning Pods will be shared with families the week of Aug. 3 with a link to the needs and interest form. 

Upcoming Needs and Interest Form

During the week of Aug. 3, families will receive an email and text message with a link to a needs and interest form. This form provides the district with important information from our families regarding:

  • Interest in a Learning Pod and a need for transportation to a pod

  • District-loaned devices

  • Assistance with Internet access

In addition to the upcoming needs and interest form, families with currently enrolled students may continue to receive communication from the district and/or their child’s school about the importance of completing Online Check-in for the upcoming school year. Completing this process confirms a child’s enrollment in their school and allows staff to build appropriate class schedules and teacher assignments. 

Submit a Question

A form has been created on the district website where families, students, staff and community members can submit questions regarding the learning model selected for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Feedback collected in this form will better inform our planning and communication as we seek to best serve our community. To submit a question, visit

Hearing from Your School

Families can anticipate hearing from their child's school no later than Friday, Aug. 14 with school-specific information about the Fall 2020 learning plan and back-to-school welcome activities. 

Key Dates

  • Week of Aug. 3: Families will receive a link to a needs and interest form.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 12 through Wednesday, Aug. 26: Schools will host in-person, small group, back-to-school opportunities for preschool, elementary, 6th and 9th grade students and families to meet school staff.

  • Thursday, Aug. 27: First day of remote learning for all students.

  • Thursday, Aug. 27 - Friday, Sept. 25: Remote learning continues for all district students with some periodic, small group in-person opportunities for all students to engage with fellow students and school staff. 

  • On or before Friday, Sept. 11: A decision will be made about the continued learning model for the remainder of the first semester [i.e. return to in-person learning (full-time and/or hybrid) or continue remote learning]. 

*The learning plans for district charter schools may be different. Please check with your child’s charter school for more information.