New Mask Mandate Update
At Tuesday’s School Board Meeting, the Hillsborough County School Board voted to remove the medical exemption opt-out requirement of the face-covering mandate and default back to the original mask mandate prior to August 18th that allowed for a parental opt-out with no medical documentation required. In an effort to give school administrators, teachers, and staff time to implement this new policy, it will begin on Thursday, October 7th.
In making this decision, the Board reviewed the most recent COVID rates for Hillsborough County, as well as the rate of isolations and quarantines of students and staff over the past seven weeks. The rates and number of cases have decreased significantly since the most recent face covering mandate, providing the Board some insight into the impact that the previous decision had in our schools.
The district will continue to follow mitigation strategies on campuses and in district facilities as recommended by the CDC, including the availability of hand sanitizer throughout our buildings, encouraging hand washing throughout the day, making face coverings available for use, and working with our health partners to provide opportunities for vaccination clinics.
This decision does not change our expectation that students follow the wishes of their parents should they want their child to wear a face covering. Parents will be asked to complete the online opt-out form and we will work diligently to honor the intent of that declaration. The link to the online opt-out form can be found here http://web.hillsboroughschools.org/maskoptout. All parents who wish to opt their child out of the mask mandate must resubmit the parental opt out form. Our primary focus will remain on providing a high-quality learning experience for all students.