• The Duval County Student Code of Conduct is essential to our schools, but your understanding of these rules and requirements is even more important. That's why we have policies for Elementary and Secondary students.

    The DCPS Codes of Student Conduct are provided in the Adobe Acrobat .pdf file. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, click here for a FREE download.

  • Duval County School Board approves emergency rule for mask mandate with medical opt out

    After significant input from medical professionals and community members, the Duval County School Board approved a mask mandate with a medical opt-out during an emergency meeting on Aug. 23. Here is the full text of the rule. 

     

    EMERGENCY RULE OF THE SCHOOL BOARD OF DUVAL COUNTY

     

    WHEREAS, Article IX, § 1 of the Florida constitution provides for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high-quality system of free education; and

    WHEREAS, To achieve a uniform, efficient, and safe school system, the Florida Constitution created school boards (Art. IX); and

    WHEREAS, The Florida constitution grants the school boards the right to “operate, control and supervise all free public schools.” See Art. IX § 4 (Fla. Const.); and

    WHEREAS, The School Board of Duval County, Florida (the “School Board”) is a duly elected body; and

    WHEREAS The School Board is responsible for the “proper attention to health, safety, and other matters relating to the welfare of students.” Fla. Stat § 1001.42(8)(a); and

    WHEREAS, The School Board also has supplemental powers to “adopt programs and policies to ensure appropriate response in emergency situations.” Fla. Stat. § 1001.43(7); and

    WHEREAS Duval County Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in Florida;

    WHEREAS, The School Board of Duval County values the health, safety, and welfare of its students and the District staff; and

    WHEREAS, The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been shown to be highly transmissible; and

    WHEREAS, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order 21-175 which in part directed the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Education to immediately execute emergency rule to ensure safety protocols for controlling the spread of COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS; and

    WHEREAS, The Florida Department of Health executed Emergency Rule 64DER21-12 which provides in part “Student may wear masks or facial covering as a mitigation measure; however, the school must allow for a parent or legal guardian of the student to opt-out the student from wearing a face covering or mask”; and

    WHEREAS, The 2021-2022 school year began on August 10, 2021 in Duval County; and

    WHEREAS, After only ten days of school, 815 cases of Covid-19 were reported to FDOH.  Of those, 111 involved staff and 704 involved students who reported a positive Covid-19 result; and

    WHEREAS, a total of 2498 cases were reported in total on the School’s dashboard for the 2020-2021 school year, meaning that in less than a week into the 2021-2022 school year beginning, DCPS was already at 19% of the total cases reported for the entire 2020-2021 school year;

    WHEREAS, the Florida Department of Health has admittedly been unable to complete contact tracing, case investigations and timely notification to impacted families regarding the results of the investigation;

    WHEREAS, of the 895 Covid-19 positive cases reported this year, only 106 cases have been completed and closed by FDOH;

    WHEREAS, due to an immediate danger to public health, safety, and welfare that required emergency action, an Emergency meeting of the School Board was called by the Chair, as well as other Board members, to immediately address the emergency; and

    WHEREAS, The School Board of Duval County heard from the Duval County Department of Health and medical experts and doctors at numerous meetings predating the emergency meeting as well as at the August 23, 2021 emergency meeting; and

    WHEREAS, The doctors and medical experts testified that the wearing of masks and vaccines are the most effective tools for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in schools; and

    WHEREAS, Masks protect the wearer and those around them by protecting against the transmission of large droplets from one person to another; and

    WHEREAS, Mask usage is beneficial to keeping children in school;  and

    WHEREAS, The U.S.Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) previously stated: “There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of face masks for source control by the general public … to help prevent the spread of the virus due to face mask shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic”; and

    WHEREAS, The Emergency Rule executed by the Department of Health does not prohibit the requirement of a medical certificate for opting out; and

    WHEREAS, The Emergency rule adopted by the School Board of Duval County gives the decision opting out of the facial covering requirement to the parent with a medical certification; and

    WHEREAS, The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) recommends children in school wear facial coverings indoors.

     NOW, THEREFORE, THE SCHOOL BOARD OF DUVAL COUNTY ENACTS THE FOLLOWING EMERGENCY RULE PURSUANT TO SECTION 120.54, FLORIDA STATUTES AND BOARD POLICY 2.25:

    1. Subject to the process that provides for a parent to opt out their student from this policy due to a medical, physical, or psychological condition evidenced by a medical certification (see paragraph II), all students must wear a face covering that covers both the nose and the mouth at all times while inside a school or any administrative facility, inside a building for purposes of a school-related or school-sponsored events (except as provided in administrative guidance for District athletics and performing arts, which will be conspicuously posted at District athletics and performing arts events), or on District-approved transportation.

    2. Opt-out/Exemptions. A face covering will not be required when it would cause an impairment due to an existing health condition as evidenced by a medical certification. To claim an exemption/opt-out due to an existing health condition, the District will require a medical certification from a licensed health care provider that the student has a medical, physical, or psychological condition that prevents the student from being able to safely wear a face covering, and a description of the medical reason.  This certification will be set forth on a form identified by a process and format by the District.   
        

    III.      Duration of Emergency Rule.  The Emergency Rule was approved by the School Board on August 23,2021, for a ninety (90) day period (except as set forth in paragaraph IV) commencing on September 7, 2021.

    1. Further action required. The Superintendent shall develop procedures, to be approved by the Board on September 7, 2021, that provide for certain health data points to result in an automatic suspension of this emergency policy while such policy is in effect.
       
    2. Basis for Emergency Rule

    This Emergency Rule approved is based upon the School Board’s findings at the Emergency Meeting held August 23, 2021 including, but not limited to the number of students and staff in the DCPS reporting positive COVID-19 tests, FDOH’s admitted inability to conduct timely case investigations which has a direct impact on the spread of the virus throughout our schools, and communication predating and occurring at the August 23, 2021 meeting from the professional health community.

    1. Procedural Fairness Afforded.

    The meeting was properly noticed on August 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. and amended and reposted on August 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.