Hernando County schools push back first day of school to Aug. 31


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HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Students in Hernando County will return to the classroom this fall wearing masks.

Hernando County Schools Superintendent John Stratton made the announcement on Youtube.

The Hernando County School Board voted Monday to tentatively approve a measure that would require all students to wear face coverings on campus, except for during recess or PE class. Students would be provided with masks if they forget to bring their own.

Students who have documentation of a disability or medical condition would be granted exemption.

Students who violate the mandate would be given a verbal warning. If they still refuse to wear a mask, school officials would contact their parents, and they could ultimately face suspension.

Classes have also been pushed back to Aug. 31. At this point, it is uncertain when teachers would return to campus

A final vote on the policy will take place next week or sometime in August.

Hernando County parents have been given three options this fall for students.

  • In-School Learning
    • Social distancing would be encouraged, face coverings would be required by staff and students throughout the day along with frequent sanitization
  • Digital Home Learning
    • Students would be taught by their teachers from there school along with daily live lessons, however, not all courses will be available
    • Parents must provide a digital device for students
  • Hernando eSchool
    • Classes would be taught by Hernando County teachers and students would be provided, flexible online classes
    • Students in grades Kindergarten to 5th Grade would have weekly check-ins with their teachers.
    • Some specialty courses such IB classes are not available and students would be required to be eSchool for one full semester.
    • Parents must also provide a digital device for students.

Parents are asked to choose a learning option by July 27 at 12 p.m.

A number of school districts have approved measures requiring students to wear masks, citing top health officials who say they are one of the best defenses against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 5,000 Floridians to date.

In Hernando County, nearly 1,200 residents have tested positive for the virus and 14 have died.


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