Majority of Duval County schools have zero students opted out of mask policy

As mask mandate battle plays out in appeals court, DCPS grants 206 medical opt-outs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Out of the 103,779 students studying on public Duval County Public Schools campuses, only 206 have been opted out of the district’s mask mandate that went into effect Tuesday.

On August 6, the district began allowing parents to submit a form to the district that must be signed by a licensed health care provider saying that the student has a medical, physical or psychological condition that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.

Of the 206 medical opt-outs by Duval County students, six are enrolled in Charter Schools; Three students at Seaside Charter North Campus and three students at Global Outreach Charter Academy.

According to DCPS, charter schools are governed by their own board, independently of the Duval County School Board. News4Jax contacted Seaside to clarify its mask policy, while Global Outreach Charter Academy said it is requiring students to wear masks at certain times during the day.

RELATED: Here’s how Duval students who don’t follow mask policy will be disciplined

The other 200 opt-outs are spread over 51 of the district’s 165 public school campuses. Only five schools have more than 10 students opted out of the policy.

The three schools with the highest percentage of students who have opted out of the mask rule are Seabreeze, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach Elementary Schools.

The district’s mask mandate is set to expire after 90 days, on Dec. 6, two weeks before winter break. However, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene has the ability to extend it if necessary.

The school board on Tuesday approved a measure to automatically lift the district’s mask mandate once the COVID-19 positivity rate in the community reaches a “moderate level.”

About the Author:

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.