Dear District 30 Family,
Last night, the Board of Education approved our Updated 2021-22 Opening of School Plan to include a mask-recommended environment starting March 7, 2022. You can learn more about our plans by clicking the link above and viewing our State of the District Video (mask-transition information from 3:30 through 12:25).
Highlights of our updated plan include:
- Universal masking is required until March 7, 2022.
- Beginning March 7:
*Recommended, not mandatory, face masks in school buildings
*Required situational masking
*Federally mandated mask-wearing on school buses
*Mandated mask-wearing in the health offices of schools
*Students and staff returning after a 5-day exclusion due to a positive COVID test must wear a mask for days 6-10 (or return on day 11).
*Masks may be required on a limited and case-by-case basis to follow disability compliance with certain students and staff (e.g., a documented medical need may require staff within close proximity to wear a mask, and our Early Childhood classroom may require masks until children five and under have access to full vaccination)
*Masks may be required as special circumstances necessitate
*Most of our current layered mitigations will remain in place. One of the most important, SHIELD testing, will help us continue to monitor cases and help us move forward in an informed manner. You are invited to learn more within our Updated 2021-22 Opening of School Plan.
*As we review in our State of the District Video, we are positioned well for this shift. We have high vaccination rates, and this plan allows for local COVID-19 rates to continue to drop.
*We are shifting from masking to protect others to utilizing high-quality masks to protect ourselves.
*Our stakeholders who provided consultative feedback on this updated plan and the Board of Education all agreed:
*Educators and parents need to prepare students for empathy, compassion, and kindness.
*Except for approved accommodations:
*Beyond reminding students to follow their family’s wishes, teachers will not police masking.
*Seating arrangement requests based on masking preferences will not be honored.
*It is important to note that moving to a mask-recommended environment will limit contact tracing within our schools. However, home support will continue to be provided for excluded students for COVID-19 according to our Strategies for COVID Excluded Students.
Staff will receive resources and principal videos today to serve as a foundation for preparing our students throughout next week for empathy, compassion, and kindness as we support each other through this transition.
Thank you for helping us prepare our students for this transition. Here are a few good resources to get us started:
- Helping Kids Handle Change At School
- The Psychological Experience of Taking Off Our Masks
- Dr. Colleen Cicchetti Parent Tips
Have a great weekend! Thank you for your continued partnership, and we are excited to move forward together!
Dr. Brian K. Wegley