FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – For some students and teachers, the first day of the 2021-2022 school year will also mark their first day back in a classroom since the coronavirus pandemic began.
A new school year always brings changes. Add a pandemic into the mix and parents and students are bound to have some questions about what to expect.
To help clear up any confusion ahead of the first day of school, News 6 reached out to each Central Florida school district with some frequently asked questions to help assemble a back-to-school guide for students and parents.
Here’s everything you need to know about heading back to school in Flagler County:
When does school start?
The first day of school in Flagler County is Tuesday, Aug. 10.
Does my child need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to school?
COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory for students to return to the classroom. In fact, many students are not eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 12 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect against the virus. Right now, children 12 years and older are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
To get the vaccine in Florida, children 12-17 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine consent form. To download a copy of the form, click here. Vaccination locations can be found here.
Wondering if the vaccine is safe for kids? Here’s what a Central Florida pediatrician has to say about COVID-19 vaccinations for minors.
Will masks and/or social distancing be required in the classroom?
According to a spokesperson for the school district, the policy going into the 2021-2022 school year is that masks are optional.
“As we announced at the end of the last school year, face coverings will be optional this year. We are monitoring the local situation and will make changes as necessary,” the spokesperson said.
However, as of the latest guidance, the CDC is recommending all students and teachers wear masks in the classroom, regardless of vaccination status.
Will any other coronavirus precautions/restrictions be in place?
County officials said they are still taking extra steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“As we prepare for this school year, we are continuing to clean our facilities thoroughly every day, encourage social distancing whenever feasible, ask everyone to monitor their symptoms and stay home if they are sick, as well as work with our local health department to identify and isolate anybody with possible exposure to COVID-19,” the district spokesperson said.
Officials said they will also continue to follow guidance from federal and state officials as it relates to schools.
Additional details on any COVID-19 precautions can be found using this link.
Are there any virtual/hybrid learning options available this semester?
According to district officials, Flagler County is only offering two learning options for the upcoming school year: Traditional in-person face-to-face and iFlagler Virtual, a program that has been an option for more than a decade. However, the deadline to enroll in iFlagler Virtual has passed, officials said.
What school supplies do I need to buy for my student?
Supply lists for Flagler County Schools can be found here.
My child will ride the bus. Where should they catch it?
Your student’s bus stop will, of course, depend on where they live. You can learn more about bus routes for Flagler County Schools here.
Parents can also utilize the Here Comes the Bus website and app to see the real-time location of their child’s bus. The tool also offers email alerts and push notifications to help parents send their students to the bus stop at the right time. Click here for details.
Is the school district hiring?
Yes. The district spokesperson said the school system can always use bus drivers, substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.
Information on how to apply for a job with Flagler Schools can be found here.
Other helpful information
As we’ve seen since the start of the pandemic, plans can change depending on a number of factors. You can always find the latest back-to-school information at ClickOrlando.com/backtoschool.
To find the Flagler County School District’s academic calendar, click here.
If your question wasn’t answered in this story or the county’s guide, click here to visit Flagler County Schools’ website.