School board approves advertising to make masks optional in classrooms for 2021-22

By Wesley LeBlanc wesley@opcfla.com
Posted 6/9/21

FLEMING ISLAND – The school district is one step closer to making masks optional for the 2021-22 school year.

The school board voted unanimously during its June 3 meeting to approve an …

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School board approves advertising to make masks optional in classrooms for 2021-22

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – The school district is one step closer to making masks optional for the 2021-22 school year.

The school board voted unanimously during its June 3 meeting to approve an advertisement for its “Phase II” reopening plan, which includes making masks optional as well as the promotion of social distancing, staggered lines and contact tracing. With masks being one of the most divisive parts of how schools worked during COVID-19, it became the spotlight of this reopening plan.

The district is confident making masks optional is the right move, especially in light of vaccinations being open to essentially anyone of age who wants one.

“I want to compliment [the] staff and the superintendent on putting together a plan that will work for the district,” school board member Janice Kerekes said. “I think this was the right thing to do. It’s about baby steps...and I thank you all for a job well done.”

Masks will still be encouraged. However, they won’t be mandatory like they were this past school year. The reopening plan also includes phasing back into the school system volunteers and visions. Field trips will resume on a case-by-case basis and sporting events will include increased capacities.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming all students back to the brick and mortar setting next school year,” Superintendent David Broskie said, explaining OneClay Online won’t return in the next school year, which means students will either need to attend school in-person or work through the Clay Virtual Academy.

Broskie stressed that CVA is a “self-paced program requiring intrinsic motivation.” The pace is set by the student and as such, CVA is best reserved for students motivated to complete work and projects at a self-set pace. He said parents who aren’t confident their child can learn in that environment should consider sending their child back to a brick-and-mortar school.

Students are out for the summer, and during the meeting, Broskie said recent graduation ceremonies around the county were successful. He said masks were optional and that everything went smoothly, something that makes making masks optional this upcoming school year an easier decision.

“The Smart Restart Plan was a success,” Broskie said. “So much so...that other districts copied our plan. I’ll go on record and say that. All of our schools remained open!”

In other business, this year’s American Heart Association was a great success throughout the school district. Twenty-four schools participated this year and raised $168,905, which is significantly more than last year’s $132,000 and more than any previous year. The amount raised put the Clay County School District in sixth place for money raised for AHA this year in the state, with Orange County Public School District in Orlando leading the charge.

As a result of the money raised, $10,650 in Physical Education equipment was earned and given back to schools, Broskie said.

The Clay County School Board will meet again on June 24. It will be held at 6 p.m. in the usual Teacher Inservice Center at Fleming Island High.

 

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