District Facial Covering Policies Remain in Place

UPDATE - District Facial Covering Policies Remain in Place
Posted on 05/03/2021
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May 4, 2021
The School District of Palm Beach County has received numerous questions regarding the status of mandatory facial coverings on District property, following the announcement on May 3 by Governor Ron DeSantis invalidating COVID-19 emergency orders.

When asked for clarification regarding the Governor’s Executive Orders, the Florida Department of Education, a state agency, has confirmed that the new guidance does not affect policies in place at the school level, including those requiring the mandatory wearing of facial coverings for students and staff.

The mandatory wearing of facial coverings in Palm Beach County District Schools remains in effect as outlined in Covid-19 Student Policy and a Covid-19 Employee Policy.

Please see the response below from the Florida Department of Education as it pertains to the Governor’s two Executive Orders issued on May 3, 2021.

From: Florida Department of Education

Questions have arisen over the impacts of the Executive Orders EO-21-101, which is not effective until July 1, 2021, and EO-21-102, which is effective immediately.

To clarify, EO-21-102 only affects city and county governments, and does NOT affect school districts and individual schools.

Moreover, EO-21-101 and EO-21-102 only affect restrictive COVID-19 orders/ordinances that are adopted through emergency enactment.

Neither EO-21-101 nor EO-21-102 affect any school district’s policies for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

May 3, 2021
This is to provide an update on the status of mandatory facial coverings on School District Property. On May 3, Governor Ron DeSantis signed an Executive Order invalidating local COVID-19 emergency orders.

The District received the Governor’s order at 4:45 p.m. today and is currently reviewing the guidance contained in the measure.

It’s important to note that the School District does not have an emergency order in place relating to facial coverings. However, the District does have a Covid-19 Student Policy and a Covid-19 Employee Policy, both of which require the wearing of facial coverings on District property.

Both of these policies remain in place until further notice.

As stated in the Covid-19 Student Policy, any student choosing not to adhere to the District's policy regarding the wearing of facial coverings, or any other aspects of this School Board-approved guidance, will be subject to consequences as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and may be assigned to Distance Learning.

The health and safety of our students and staff continues to be the School Board’s top priority. The District is continually working with the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) in Palm Beach County, which is conducting contact tracing in our schools.

Evidence continues to show that most COVID-19 cases are brought onto our campuses, not transmitted within our campuses. Health officials attribute the very low transmission rates in our schools to social distancing practices and the mandatory wearing of facial coverings.

The County, the Florida Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continue to recommend the wearing of facial coverings. The District will continue to follow the guidance of professional health advisors and maintain our current Covid-19 policies until health officials deem these actions no longer necessary.

All District parents, staff, students, and community members will be alerted if the District’s position on facial coverings changes. Thank you for your patience and understanding as the District continues to navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The School District of Palm Beach County