Duval County Schools Superintendent: Face masks not required 2021-22 school year

Jacksonville, Fla — Dr. Diana Greene, the Duval County School Superintendent is recommending face masks no longer be required for the next school year.

That decision announced just before noon on Tuesday during a DCPS back to school workshop.

This comes after parents were asked to take survey about what safety precautions they want to see.

More than 28,000 people took part in this survey that was given to parents, teachers, and students earlier this month to decide how the school year will look come this fall.

Out of those surveyed 21 percent were students, 50 percent were parents, 16 percent were teachers and the rest were classified as other.

There are the results:

When it comes to wearing mask next school year nearly 49 percent asked to make wearing face mask optional while 26 percent said face mask should still be worn.

Dr. Greene said during the meeting that face mask will be optional for all students.

Dr. Tracy Pierce the chief of marketing and public relations for DCPS told me the district will still encourage elementary school kids to wear mask.

“Because we don’t have a vaccine option yet for elementary school students so for next school year face coverings optional but highly recommended especially for the young ones,” Dr. Pierce said.

DCPS said the decision whether to make face coverings optional on the school buses is still being decided.

When it comes to desk shields 41 percent of those surveyed asked to remove all desk shields while only 18 percent asked for them to be mandatory in classrooms.

The district says it’s going to recommend only using desk shields for small groups in elementary schools.

As for temperature checks 46 percent of those surveyed asked to continue temperature checks for students and staff while 33 percent asked to eliminate it altogether.

Dr. Pierce told me the district decided it will be getting rid of temperature checks next school year.

“Temperature checks are a huge logistical concern for kids, getting kids off of buses and into class on time so temperature will be going away for the coming school year,” he said.

When it came to hand sanitizer in classrooms a resounding 90 percent of those surveyed say they wanted to keep it in the classroom.

Another major change is Duval Homeroom will be no more.

“For those families who still want a full time online experience. We will be able to offer that. We’ll be offering that through our existing school the Duval Virtual Instruction Academy,” Dr. Pierce said.

Dr. Greene said its important remember all these results are based on the current situation with Covid-19 and if cases go up they’ll re-evaluate these decisions.

The Covid-19 dashboard will still be used to track cases next school year.

You can check out the full plan below