Central Florida back-to-school guide: What you need to know about mask rules and more

Summer vacation is over! Thousands of kids across Central Florida are heading back to class on Tuesday. 

The following counties were back in class starting Tuesday: 

  • Orange
  • Seminole
  • Lake
  • Sumter
  • Brevard
  • Marion
  • Flagler
  • Polk

Students in Osceola County return to class on Thursday. Students in Volusia County will go back to class on Aug. 16.

RELATED: Orange County prepares for school by detailing COVID protocols

Face masks are optional for Osceola County students.

Students in Orange County are asked to wear masks unless they want to opt out. A parent needs to write a one-sentence note saying they are doing just that. Teachers, staff, and any visitors on school grounds won’t have the option to opt-out and must wear a mask.

Seminole County students also have the option of opting out of wearing a face mask while teachers and staff will be required to wear them. 


During a late-night vote on Tuesday, Brevard County schools voted to keep face masks optional. 

The Superintendent held a ceremonial bell ringing bright and early to welcome students back to campus. 

RELATED: Back-to-school forecast: Hot and steamy as kids head back to class

If your child is experiencing bullying, there is a hotline in Seminole County to call. The Speakout Hotline is anonymous. It can also be used for other threats and harassment. The number is 1-800-423-8477.

Drivers who got used to not seeing school busses on the roads will want to make some extra time. The FOX 35 Storm Team Thunder Truck hit the road on Tuesday to check out road conditions. 

Remember to slow down while driving in school zones. The fine is doubled if you are caught speeding through a school zone. According to the DMV, you can get a ticket up to $555. Also, if you pass a stopped school bus, there is a minimum fine of $200 - $400. If it's your second offense in 2 years, your license can be suspended.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest school updates.