BPS starts school Aug. 10 with a few changes

This coming school year, the projected enrollment for Quest Elementary School is 668.

The first day of school for grades 1 through 12 at all Brevard Public Schools is Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The first day for children attending kindergarten is Friday, Aug. 13.

All BPS teachers are scheduled to report for preplanning from Monday, Aug. 2 to Monday, Aug. 9.

The school district has scheduled Thursday, Aug. 5 as a District Professional Development Day for all teachers.

With the start of the 2021-22 school year on Aug. 10, school rules and regulations for COVID-19 pandemic protection will soften.

The Brevard County School Board decided at its May 21 meeting to make the wearing of face masks optional. In addition, all BPS students must report to schools, the district removing eLearning from the available choices in favor of allowing concerned parents to enroll their children in Brevard Virtual School.

However, the school district reports water fountains will continue to only be used to fill water bottles. Plexiglass barriers can remain standing in classrooms and offices. The district will continue to limit the direction people travel in hallways to minimize face-to-face contact.

The school district will continue to “prioritize” air conditioning unit changes and run air conditioning before and after buildings are occupied to maintain airflow.

School seating arrangements will minimize student contact, but “flexible seating should be used when it benefits instruction,” according to the school district.

Buses will return to full occupancy. School cafeterias will still offer grab and go meals in addition to regular serving lines.

Out-of-state field trips will still require district approval, and schools are directed to continue to hold high-risk events outdoors. Visitors and volunteers will be allowed to participate in school activities on a limited basis.

One of the upcoming changes this school year is the new attendance boundaries for two Viera elementary schools.

Last February, a letter was sent to the families within these two elementary schools indicating they will be rezoned for the 2021-2022 school year.

The area includes 127 students attending Quest Elementary, 80 attending Viera Elementary, and 162 students attending charter schools (Pinecrest and Viera Charter). The area also includes 46 students attending various other public schools.

“We wanted to balance the capacity between Quest Elementary and Viera Elementary,” said Karen Black, the manager of facilities planning and intergovernmental coordination for the district.

Black said Quest’s enrollment last year was 795, while Viera’s was 384. This coming year, the projected enrollment for Quest is 668, while Viera’s will be 511.

If your child plans on playing a sport this fall, the school board recently passed a policy requiring heart-screenings for student-athletes. The board passed a policy that makes electrocardiogram (ECG) tests mandatory for all student-athletes.

Electrocardiograms help identify athletes who might be at risk for sudden death from loss of heart function. An ECG also might assist with diagnosing several different heart conditions that put athletes at risk.