Thousands of students across Central Florida will head back to class on Tuesday.
Students in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Sumter, Marion, Flagler and Polk counties will return Tuesday.
Osceola County students will return to school on Thursday, and students in Volusia County will return Aug. 16.
Seminole and Orange County students will be required to wear a mask to class but they are allowed to opt out of the requirement if their parents send a note with them.
Teachers, staff members and visitors will be required to wear a mask in Seminole and Orange counties.
Students have the option to leave masks at home in Brevard, Polk, Volusia, Osceola, Sumter, Flagler, Lake and Marion counties.
District leaders in Brevard County are still working with the local teachers union to hash out the memorandum of understanding, which means some school policies could change even after classes begin.
The Brevard County school board will be considering a mask mandate at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
In Seminole County, hundreds of school buses will hit the road for the start of the new school year.
The district is going back to normal seating, which means two or three students will be in one seat. Every seat will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to protect students.
In Orange County, district leaders are going as far as discouraging bus riding for parents who have extra time in the mornings.
“If you are able to transport your own child even though they require or qualify for busing, we ask parents to help us out — that will help us spread students out on the buses,” Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said.
Florida was one of the only states to have in-person school all year last year.
Educators are trying to keep buses rolling all 180 days this year.
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