What you need to know ahead of first day of school in Charlotte County

Posted at 7:15 AM, Aug 10, 2021

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — Tuesday the first day of school for Charlotte County Public Schools.

When it comes to masks, Michael Riley, the Charlotte County Public Schools Community Liaison, said they plan to keep masks optional for students and staff members. He said the Superintendent made the recommendation for this a few weeks ago, the School Board voted to approve that, and because of Governor DeSantis's ban on mask mandates, that's how they'll move forward.

"The Governor has threatened punitive measures against districts if they don't follow this decree. Through all of the time I've been here — 40 years — we've always been in compliance with the State School Board, Legislators, the Governor, and Commissioner of Education, and at this time, we're still doing that. Things could change, but right now, we're going to stay in compliance with those laws," Riley said.

Riley did say any parents with concerns about others not wearing masks, can enroll their children in Charlotte Virtual School, or home school their kids.

As for other school activities, Riley told Fox 4 the Superintendent said they're going back to the way things were pre-pandemic.

"With our sports and our activities, our volunteers are going to be welcomed back in schools, all our youth activities that take place on the campuses, the community groups that use our schools — that's all open. It's full attendance. We're not going to say 25 percent or 50 percent. We're going to go full tilt to make this back to the community schools that they were in the past," Riley said.

Riley said any of these things are subject to change throughout the school year, depending on the COVID-19 situation.