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Hillsborough County Public Schools makes masks optional, won't offer eLearning next year

Hillsborough County now joins other Tampa Bay school districts that have repealed their mask rules.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County Public Schools is leaving the choice of wearing face masks in classrooms to the discretion of students and staff.

In a press release Friday, the school district announced face coverings would be optional beginning this Monday, June 7. Officials said the decision was made due to the widespread availability of vaccines and the "local awareness" of COVID-19.

Another change that will take place at the start of the 2021-2022 school year is the cancellation of distance learning – or eLearning. However, virtual summer school will still take place.

The two options families will have in the fall will be face-to-face instruction or virtual instruction through Hillsborough Virtual K-12.

RELATED: Manatee County School District repeals mask mandate – effective immediately

“We are excited to welcome all students back to our campuses in August. Our teachers, school-based administrators, and support professionals have been true champions this year for their unfailing commitment and patience in providing emotional support and targeted instruction to students. Recent data shows children are facing numerous challenges academically and emotionally, with many falling behind in core content areas such as reading and math. It is time students receive accelerated instruction in front of high-quality educators while also having full access to mental health supports at our schools,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.

Hillsborough County now joins other Tampa Bay school districts that have repealed their mandatory mask mandates, including Manatee and Hernando Counties.

RELATED: Hernando County Schools will end mask requirement on June 18

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