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

Masks in Miami Dade Schools will be optional as of now, while Broward County Schools has yet to decide.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – To mask or not to mask? That is the question in South Florida schools as the summer continues to fly by.

Currently, plans for the upcoming 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 point remains the same,” he said.

Officials say the move is based on current environmental conditions in Miami-Dade and based on the scientific information available, which is a lower positivity rate than what South Florida had just months ago, although numbers and variants are once again spiking.

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

Miami-Dade Schools is offering three schooling options this year: the physical classroom, the online academy or Miami-Dade virtual school. More information on those options can be found at the bottom of this story.

Broward County Public Schools will offer 100 percent face-to-face learning when classes start 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 regarding wearing of 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 nervous that they still don’t have a game plan.

“It should’ve been the number one top priority,” Fusco said. “Our district is consumed with getting an interim superintendent and other responsibilities.”

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


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

Miami-Dade Virtual School - Beginning this Fall, M-DCPS will open Miami-Dade Virtual School (MDVS), the only virtual instruction program that is taught by M-DCPS teachers. MDVS will provide the families of Miami-Dade County an additional virtual learning option that will include a blend of expanded synchronous (live) and asynchronous (self-paced) educational experiences, advanced academic courses, and dual enrollment opportunities. In June, MDVS will begin hosting informational webinars for interested families that would like more information about the school. The school will service grades K through 12 and will open as a choice school with no boundaries capable of servicing the entire county of Miami-Dade. More information is available at

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.