The ABCs of PTSA & ESSAC: Welcome Back Panthers!

The ABCs of PTSA & ESSAC: Welcome Back Panthers!

Welcome Back Panthers! 

Welcome back to school, Panthers! We hope that your first days back at school went smoothly and safely. Below you can find everything you need to know about Physical school, My School Online announcements, technology, safety guidelines and what to do if you have concerns regarding COVID-19. Clarification can be found below on some of the most important topics of discussion, straight from the sources. 

Physical in School 

  1. Students can purchase parking decals online through the Palmetto website. Due to on-going construction, two parking lots remain open for students: one has an entrance on 12oth St., but not the parking lot in front of the entrance of the school, and one has an entrance on 74th Ave., which says “Visitors Only.”
  2. Block scheduling: ‘A’ days consist of periods one, three and five and ‘B’ days consist of periods two, four and six. This scheduling continues throughout the entire school year. This facilitates limited contact between students and teachers, especially in the hallways. 
  3. Lunch takes place during the second block of the day, which occurs from 9:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. There are three different lunches: Lunch One (10:20-10:50a.m.), Lunch Two (11:00-11:30 a.m.) and Lunch Three (11:40-12:10p.m.). After the three lunch periods, students have a 10 minute break in order to get to your next class.
  4. Only two students are allowed at a time in the bathroom. Administration has instructed security and hall monitors to enforce this rule.
  5. For those who take first period FLVS and return to in-person school, you must sign in with Mr. Corradino and then go to your second block. For those who take sixth period FLVS, you must sign in with Mr. Reynolds in the courtyard, and if able to afterwards, you may leave to do the class from home.
  6. If you are unable to attend school or need to leave early, a QR code outside of the office is available for students to scan on their phones and fill out. Students will then receive an email with their admit. This admit request form may be found on the Palmetto website as well. Do not forget to also email this admit to all of your teachers; it does not automatically appear in the grade book, so your teachers need to fix your admit manually. 
  7. For those who previously qualified for transportation provided by the school, a change in guidelines may affect your status. The district mailed out cards regarding modality that explain if you qualify for transportation or not. Previous “space-availability” transport cannot be provided at the moment, as buses operate at COVID-19 capacity. 
  8. Upon dismissal from your last block of the day, try and leave campus as soon as possible. Make sure you have a plan for transportation to and from school. 
  9. As for student council, the freshmen elections take place on Oct. 16. Applications to run for freshman student council board are due on Oct. 11, campaigning occurs from Oct. 13-15 and ballot day on Oct. 12. For more information, check the Palmetto website
  10. For the foreseeable future, all clubs and club meetings can be attended online via Zoom. 
  11. The school has allowed MSO students to participate in sports. However, participants in fall sports can only do conditioning, and no official start date for fall sports has been announced. Physical Education and Dance classes have not been granted permission to begin operating as normal.  
  12. Everyday, even room numbers will be dismissed at 2:15 and odd room numbers at 2:20 to avoid congested traffic areas in the school.

MSO Announcements

  1. Students who originally chose to stay online in June or July will not be able to switch to physical. If you originally chose physical, you have the ability to change to online. Changing to online may result in changes in current schedules due to some teachers only teaching through MSO and some only in-person. Some teachers may teach from home, meaning that there will be a substitute monitoring the students present in the physical classroom. 
  2. Please be patient with teachers who have both online and physical students. It can be difficult to give both equal attention and teachers are working on figuring out ways to include both MSO and physical students.
  3. Depending on the teacher, there may be different online platforms used to communicate. The main ones include: Microsoft Teams, Edmodo, Schoology  and direct email. All of the teachers’ emails can be found on the Palmetto website, and most teachers have office hours available to set up Zooms if you have any questions. 
  4. If students want to forward emails from their school email to their main email, they can do so by logging onto their student portal, clicking Office 365, on the left side clicking Outlook (taking you to your Dadeschools email), going to “etting” in the top right corner, clicking “view all setting” and then clicking “forwarding” in the popup menu and adding the preferred email address. 


  1. If you return to school physically, it is encouraged and in some cases mandatory, depending on the teacher to bring your own device to school everyday. The school has computers that students can use. Right now, there is a waiting list for Miami-Dade-issued devices, but the school expects to receive them in the near future. More updates expected on this later. 
  2. Devices may not stay charged the whole day and the school does take note of that; teachers have been given or can expect to receive extension cords for students to charge their laptops. Be sure to check with your teachers on their policy for charging devices in classrooms and do not forget to bring a charger to class for your device. 

COVID and Safety Guidelines

  1. Each teacher has different procedures for the in-class atmosphere. Some rules stay the same for all: no eating or drinking, no taking off your mask and wipe down your desks with a disinfecting wipe upon entering class. If students have any questions, ask teachers for clarification on what they feel comfortable within their classroom.
  2. Students must arrive at school with their mask on and wear their mask for the duration of the school day, besides lunchtime. The mask should be covering both the students’ nose and mouth and should not be taken off during classes. The school has masks students can use if they need one or if their current mask is uncomfortable or not in compliance with mask guidelines. Administration has announced masks with a valve must be removed and switched to a cloth, surgical, or N95 mask . 
  3. The PTSA has purchased new AC filters, air purifiers and N-95 masks for each teacher, as well as plexiglass for all of the classrooms.
  4. Each student must conduct their own self-health screenings at home. These consist of checking your  temperature and seeing if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, such as loss of taste and smell, labored breathing or dry coughing. 
  5. If you test positive, you must let the administration know in order for them to let your teachers and classmates know, so they can quarantine as well. This helps to prevent an outbreak within the Palmetto community.
  6. Before and after sitting down at your desk in each classroom, many teachers will supply you with wipes to clean off your area. If possible, try to bring your own wipes to school or donate them to teachers, as wipes have become a necessity in the classroom. 
  7. Ifa teacher notices a student showing symptoms of illness, students may be sent to two rooms: clinical or isolation rooms. Students who go to the clinic room for symptoms of illnesses such as the stomach flu or strep throat will not be in the same room as those in the isolation room, which is specifically for coronavirus. 


  1. Principal Victoria Dobbs, as well as the rest of the Palmetto faculty, continue to work extremely hard to make the transition to in-person school as smooth as possible. If you have any concerns, regarding safety procedures, classes, schedules, etc., go straight to Principal Dobbs. 
  2. If you know anyone who has told you that they have COVID-19 or shows clear symptoms, tell Principal Dobbs immediately.  

If you want to become more involved and informed about our school, you can join the PTSA and attend meetings just like us! The Palmetto community can also access information on the Palmetto website. Remember to follow the procedures above, not just for your safety, but for the safety of your peers, teachers, faculty and administration. We can get through this together and encourage you all to check back here monthly for accurate information about everything going on at school!