Charlotte County Schools Superintendent Steve Dionisio will be recommending making masks optional.

Dionisio sent out an end-of-year message on Saturday morning congratulating staff for finishing the challenging year strong. In the email, he also addressed how he plans to go forward with masks.

“As we close out this school year I also want to let all of you know that at the June 15th School Board Meeting I will be making a recommendation to the Board to make masks optional moving forward,” Dionisio wrote. “I want to once again say thank you for all you have done as a staff to navigate this challenging year.”

Sarasota County Schools had also issued a similar optional-mask plan.

Sarasota’s Superintendent of Schools Brennan Asplen released a statement on May 28 proposing that, without any drastic changes in health guidance or COVID-19 cases, schools operate as normally as possible in the next school year.


“The school district’s plan is to open the 2021-2022 school year face-to-face without remote learning or concurrent instructional delivery methods,” Asplen’s letter read. “Additionally, this includes starting next school year with face masks being optional for employees, students, parents and visitors.”

The School Board will vote on the proposition in three weeks.

Masks have been a divisive issue for some parents since the beginning of the pandemic. Dionisio took time Saturday to briefly address challenges his staff has faced over the last year while thanking them for their hard work and professionalism.

“First, I just want to say congratulations to the entire CCPS Staff. We made it. I know there were many who doubted that we would get through this school year, but that would only be those who don’t understand what a dedicated staff Charlotte County Schools is fortunate to have. What you had to overcome this school year is, quite frankly, like no one else before you have ever had to and I hope never have to again. As I have said many times, the way you have handled all of the obstacles thrown at you has been nothing short of amazing.”

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