South Florida school districts make decisions on face masks, other safety guidelines


FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – To hide or not to hide? That’s the question in South Florida schools as summer continues to soar.

Currently, plans for the next school year are still being discussed and finalized by officials.

Masks in Miami Dade schools will be optional, according to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

“Our position at this stage remains the same,” he said.

Officials say the decision is based on current environmental conditions in Miami-Dade and available scientific information, which represents a lower positivity rate than in South Florida just a few months ago, although numbers and variants increase again.

MDPS said it will continue to consult with medical experts throughout the school year.

Miami-Dade Schools offers three education options this year: the physical classroom, the online academy or the Miami-Dade virtual school. You can find more information on these options at the bottom of this story.

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Broward County Public Schools will offer 100% face-to-face learning when classes begin on August 18. Virtual learning will not be an option.

At an upcoming school board workshop on July 27, the Broward school board will make a final decision on wearing masks.

Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teacher’s Union, is frustrated. Students return to class on August 18, and according to Fusco, faculty and staff are worried they don’t have a game plan yet.

“It should have been the number one priority,” Fusco said. “Our district is busy securing an acting superintendent and other responsibilities.”

Miami-Dade and Broward school districts are still in talks with health officials for advice.


Miami-Dade Online Academy (MDO) is a full-time, virtual Magnet school serving K-12 students. Parents play an active role in their child’s education in partnership with the student’s highly qualified, certified virtual teacher. Eligible high school students are offered advanced courses, dual enrollment, early admissions, and advanced placement courses. The MDO Academy begins August 23, 2021 for qualified and eligible students. To learn more about the MDO Academy or to apply for enrollment, please visit NOTE: Registration period ends July 15, 2021.

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Miami-Dade Virtual School – Starting this fall, M-DCPS will open Miami-Dade Virtual School (MDVS), the only virtual education program taught by M-DCPS teachers. MDVS will provide families in Miami-Dade County with an additional virtual learning option that will include a mix of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (self-paced) educational experiences, advanced college courses, and dual enrollment opportunities. In June, MDVS will start organizing information webinars for interested families who want more information about the school. The school will serve grades K through 12 and open as a borderless school of choice capable of serving all of Miami-Dade County. More information is available at

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