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Leon County Schools plan to require masks for students during bus rides, class transitions

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 11:18:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools will require students to wear masks on bus rides and in situations where social distancing is not possible.

During their Re-Open Task Force meeting on Monday, Assistant Superintendent Alan Cox, with the help of several other district officials, laid out their plans to keep students safe from COVID-19.

As part of that plan, students will be required to wear masks while on the bus and during class transitions. In class, masks will be recommended but not required and classrooms will be spaced out as much as possible.

James Cole, the director of transportation, said that bus drivers and bus assistants will be required to wear masks as well as gloves and will have daily temperature checks. Buses will also be disinfected between runs.

When it comes to classrooms, teachers will be expected to disinfect their classrooms frequently and a "hygiene kit" will be provided in each classroom. The district is also preparing to buy thermometers for every teacher.

If a student gets sick at school, they will be sent to the clinic and their desk will be disinfected. If they're showing symptoms, they will be placed into a separate, ventilated area for pickup.

After that, the student will have to be fever-free for 72 hours and can come back.

If the fever continues past that 72 hour period, the student will need to get a doctor's approval to return to school. If the student is tested for COVID-19, they'll have to stay home from school until the results come in.

For meal service, staff will be required to wear masks, undergo daily temperature checks and socially distance. Directional signage will also be placed in cafeterias to socially distance students.

After picking up their food from the cafeteria (with the exception of Pre-K through 2nd grade where meals will be delivered to them), students will either go back to their classroom or an outside location to eat.

There will be limited dining available in the cafeteria where social distancing will be practiced.

All students will be screened daily for any symptoms of sickness. If a child becomes sick, they will need to be fever-free for 72 hours before being allowed to return to school.

Scott Hansen, the director of student activities, said that the district will follow FHSAA guidelines if fall sports are allowed to be played. If fans are allowed to be at games, masks will be required for entry and spectators will be socially distanced.

Visitors at schools will have a single point of entry and will be asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Among the things LCS is considering, they are weighing whether to allow pep rallies and other large school gatherings, field trips and locker use. For now, large gatherings are not part of the plan.

Leon County Schools are set to reopen to students on August 10.

If parents have questions that weren't answered at Monday's meeting, they are encouraged to email with their questions.