MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida students who are heading back to the classroom for the new school year will be contending with one of the most dangerous times in the pandemic for children due to the contagious delta variant.
Below is a guide to what each South Florida school district is requiring or mandating when it comes to masks, along with any information and links to further reading material.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mask Mandate in Place
Miami-Dade County Public Schools has implemented a mask mandate for the upcoming school year. The board voted 7-1 to institute mask requirement.
The District is also requiring K-12 students to wear face masks in school buses.
Miami-Dade Public School students return to class on Monday, August 23.
BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mask Mandate In Place
Broward County Public Schools voted Tuesday, August 10, to maintain the school district’s mask mandate that was originally approved July 28.
The board voted 8-1 to keep the mask mandate in place, allowing exceptions for health and safety concerns only.
The opt-out provisions are for those with medical conditions, Individual Education Plans, and students who qualify for Section 504 accommodations.
Broward County Public Schools students returned to class on August 18.
MONROE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mask Mandate In Place
Masks will be required for everyone inside Monroe County schools and on buses.
Parents and guardians may choose to opt-out of this requirement by filling out an opt-out form on the school district website. District staff must wear a facial covering indoors and on district transportation with no option of opting out.
The policy will be reexamined at the next School Board meeting on August 24.
Monroe County Public School students returned to class on August 12.
ARCHDIOCESE OF MIAMI CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
Students attending the 57 Catholic schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties are required to wear masks unless they are fully vaccinated. The exception is when children are eating, playing sports or “other vigorous activities.”
Masks are optional for students when they are outdoors regardless of vaccination status.
The policy will be reviewed weekly.
The first day of school was Wednesday, August 18.
STATE BANS MASK MANDATES IN SCHOOLS
These decisions came after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order requiring the state’s health and education departments to create rules that allow parents — not schools — to decide whether their children should wear masks. The order effectively prohibits mask mandates in school districts.
Several lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the executive order.
LOCAL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
University of Miami
The use of masks in outdoor settings is no longer required on any University of Miami campus.
Click here for more on testing and vaccination requirements.
Florida International University
It is recommended that individuals on campus wear a mask / face covering indoors and wash their hands frequently. Additionally, all students, faculty and staff who come to campus must complete the P3 app questionnaire every time they come to campus.
Click here for more.