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St. Johns County schools reopen with strict safety protocols

St. Johns County School District is the last local county along the First Coast to reopen.

ST JOHNS, Fla. — It is the first day of school for our last school district on the First Coast to reopen. In St. Johns County, the school district has already added a new protocol even before the first day. 

If you want to be at a brick-and-mortar school, you are required to wear a face covering. If you don’t, the district could kick you out and send you to home to virtual school. 

Their rule says three strikes and you're out. 

“This is really just about granting authority when there’s noncompliance," a school board member said during a meeting a week before the start of school. 

The school board unanimously voted in favor of the mask mandate. 

“They want to be sure the students are following the rules and keep their masks on as required," said President of the St. Johns Education Association Michelle Dillon.

There is an exception. Students will be able to take their masks off when they sit at their desk with a plastic divider separating them from their classmates.

The school district says seats are anywhere from 3 to 6 feet apart. 

The school district is also requiring temperature checks as students head into the classroom. Teachers are going to be recording those temperatures.

More than 30,000 students are heading back to class in person and the district spokesperson says about 10,000 will remain at home doing distance learning. Some teachers will be simultaneously teaching students in person and online.

RELATED: First Coast schools plan how to handle positive COVID-19 cases within the buildings

RELATED: A look inside St. Johns County Schools before opening Monday