Until now, medical documentation has been required to opt out of wearing a face mask.
DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — (Editor’s Note: The story above is from a previous report)
Duval County School’s face mask protocol will change effective next week.
Beginning next week, parents and guardians can opt their children out of the face covering requirement without any documentation. They only need to complete the online opt-out form in FOCUS, the district’s online student information system.
The district says the reason for the change is that the transmission rate for COVID-19 in our area has declined from “high” on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scale to “moderate.”
Until this change, medical documentation has been required to opt out of wearing a face mask.
Students who do not have a parent opt-out form on file but forget to bring a face mask will be given a disposable mask at school.
Under the district’s new communicable disease policy, Superintendent Greene will soon bring recommended procedures to the board for mitigation strategies to be deployed at varying levels of transmission for future outbreaks.
*Scroll down for more information about how to opt out your child.
The announcement comes after the Duval County School district lost thousands of dollars in state funding because of the district’s mask mandate.
A spokesperson for the Duval County school district confirms the Florida Department of Education has withheld $26,770 due to the district’s mask mandate.
First Coast News previously reported the withheld money would amount to 1/12 of the salaries of the board members. The total yearly salary for each sitting Duval County School Board member is $45,891.
That number multiplied by the number of sitting board members (7) and then dived by the number of months in a year (12) equals roughly 1/12 of the pay for all board members.
Parents who would like to opt their child out of wearing a face covering can do so by completing the “Student Mask/Facial Covering Opt-Out Form” that is located online in the Parent FOCUS Account.
To find the online form, parents need to login to their Parent FOCUS Account, click on their child’s name, and then locate the form in the “Forms” folder.
To complete the form, parents will be required to select two options:
- I elect to opt out my student from wearing a mask or facial covering as recommended by the CDC and the Student Code of Conduct.
- By checking this box, I am completing this opt out of wearing a mask/facial covering form as the parent/guardian of (student’s name).
After selecting the two options, parents/guardians can then submit the online form.
Note: If completing the form for multiple children linked to the same Parent FOCUS Account, the parent/guardian will need to:
- Complete and submit the form for the first child
- Select the next child
- Select “child info”
- Re-open the form, complete and submit
- Repeat process for additional children
- The opt-out form will only populate with student information if the parent has linked their account to the student’s. For student safety, linking a parent account to a student account requires validation from the school. Contact your school if your account is not already linked to your child’s account.
- FOCUS users can change their language preferences. Go to Preferences and then choose the preferred language.
Wearing a face covering is also optional for employees. The practice is strongly encouraged for employees working indoors and unable to socially distance and when in common areas of the workplace.
The district will continue to implement other layered mitigation strategies such as enhanced classroom, school, and district cleaning protocols, promotion of social distancing where possible and more.