GAINESVILLE ‒ A special meeting of the School Board of Alachua County has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Board meeting room at 620 E. University Avenue. The focus of the meeting is masking in the district’s schools.

There will be an opportunity for public comment at the meeting. The Board will also be able to take a vote at the meeting if a majority of Board members choose to do so.

At its regular meeting on Nov. 2, a majority of School Board members voted to maintain the district’s current masking protocols for students.

Under those protocols, students in high schools may be opted out of wearing masks by their parents.

For students in elementary and middle schools, a waiver form must be signed by a qualifying medical professional.

The protocols would remain in place through Dec. 6. After that day, parents of all students could sign a waiver form for their child.

Since that vote, a challenge of a Florida Department of Health rule requiring that parents have sole discretion over whether their children wear masks in schools was dismissed by an administrative law judge.

A hearing on a lawsuit regarding masks in schools is scheduled for next Wednesday, Nov. 17 in circuit court, and the Florida Legislature will be holding a special session on this and other COVID-related issues beginning Nov. 15.

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