Mask Requirement Expands to 6-12

Mask Requirement Expands to 6-12
Posted on 08/31/2021

Letter from the Superintendent (8/31/21)

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID in our community, the district made the decision last week to require masks for students in our elementary buildings. In that email, I asked that our secondary students who are not vaccinated to help our efforts by wearing masks.

As always, our goal is to do everything in our power to keep students in our school buildings with one another and their teachers, learning together. Therefore, effective Tuesday, September 7, we are expanding the mask requirement for students while indoors to include students in grades 6-12. Because many secondary students are eligible for vaccination, a separate Mask Exemption Request form is available. (See below for links and more information about exemption requests.)

As a reminder, mask requirements do not apply for students of any grade while at recess or when students are outdoors for any other reason. In addition, teachers will continue to offer regular mask breaks during the day at their own discretion.

I understand that the contact tracing and quarantine protocols can feel convoluted to families who are simply trying to navigate their way through an unfamiliar process.

To that end, I am including this flow chart from the Greene County Department of Health that details how those decisions are made, as well as a brief video (see below or click here) that details the impact of masks and vaccination on the quarantine process that may help clarify the issue for you.

These guidelines come directly from the Ohio Department of Health, and the district must continue to follow all protocols for contact tracing and quarantine.
Once again this week, I would like to remind each of you that it is our intention to revisit this decision in six weeks to determine if we need to continue on this path, or if we can make adjustments at that time. However, as this communication shows, the protocols can change sooner or later, depending on the current situation.

It is our sincere hope that each and every student who can wear a mask, will be wearing a mask. However, there are two different mask exemption forms, based on your student's grade:

Finally, families should be aware that any approved mask exemption does not supersede mask regulations put in place by entities with the legal jurisdiction to do so. In addition, it does not exempt your child from the contact tracing process or any subsequent required quarantines for those who are not masked or vaccinated. As a reminder, those guidelines are set by the Ohio Department of Health, and the district must continue to follow the protocols for quarantine.

As always, I ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate the course ahead together.

Dr. Gabriel Lofton, Superintendent