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Mandatory mask-wearing, rapid COVID-19 testing, social distancing addressed during DCPS town hall

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene took questions from parents a week before the start of the school year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From social distancing to bus procedures and rapid COVID-19 testing for employees, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene took questions from parents about the district's preparations and plans for the coming school year during a Facebook Live Wednesday night.

One parent asked, "What are the repercussions if students refuse to wear a mask?"

Greene responded with, "The teacher should send them to the office. A phone call will be made to the parent, that conversation will be had that it is mandatory and it is required."

When asked about pick-up and drop-off procedures amid the pandemic, Greene said, "They need to have a face covering on. If they don't, the bus driver will give them one. They have to clean their hands will hand sanitizer. We will start enrolling on the bus from the back and work the way to the front."

Some teachers have voiced concerns about social distancing between themselves. Wednesday was their first day back to school for preplanning.

One of them telling First Coast News, "Fully grown adult teachers aren't able to follow the social distancing and mandated mas wearing as we return to schools today, but we expect our students to successfully do it?”

Greene says masks will be required for employees, too.

"We added an additional support for teachers for face shields, but it is a requirement that they wear a facial covering because we know there will be times where there won't be six feet of social distancing,” Greene said.

She says parents should be getting a call or email from the district or their child's school this week outlining plans for the start of the year, including any online help they may need for Duval HomeRoom.