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Mask rules, bell schedules and more: Your Tampa Bay back-to-school guide

Everything you need to know before your kids head back to school in the Tampa Bay area.

TAMPA, Fla. — It is once again that time of year. 🎶  Back to school, back to school...to prove dad I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh… back to school, back to school. 🎶  

While the 2020-21 school year kicked off differently last August, this year schools are once again open. The number of changes and protocols may be overwhelming, so here are the most important things you’ll need to know for you and your child. 

😷 First off, it is best to know what mask rules are in place in your child's school district: 

While not mandated by the state of Florida, face coverings should be worn in schools by visitors, teachers, staff and any students 2 or older – no matter if they've been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here is your back-to-school safety checklist for parents concerned about COVID-19 and the delta variant.

⏰ Next, you’ll want to make sure you know the bell times for your student’s school:


🚌 You can also find bus route and car pick-up/drop-off information on each school’s website. Since school buses are back on the roads, make sure you know Florida's rules when stopping for school buses.

🍎 And, if your child is not eating school lunch, here are a few meal ideas for packing your kid’s lunchbox with some variety! 

📚 Lastly, if your child isn’t riding the bus home and needs to stay at school later, check out a few of the after-school programs around Tampa Bay for students returning this fall.

😴 Bonus: Now that school is back in session, be sure to help your child return to a proper bedtime routine

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