HCS on Masks

HCS on Masks
Posted on 07/18/2020

Health & Safety Plan

  • Will kids have to wear masks?

    • In Phase 2 and 3, all students are required to wear a face covering except as noted below.  In K-2, we will ask all students to wear a face covering in the classroom. However, we will allow some flexibility for our youngest learners who need to remove masks inside the classroom, as long as they are with the same group of students they work with daily.

    •  A face covering is always required for all students and staff when outside of the classroom in the school building. The requirement includes K-2 students.

    •  The only exception is when students and staff are in a well-ventilated space that will accommodate social distancing. To be clear, a typical classroom would not meet these criteria.  A face covering will not be required when outdoors or in a large indoor space such as a gymnasium in which social distancing can be maintained, but it is still recommended.

    • Each school will provide a safe space and time during the school day for students to remove the face covering if they wish.

    • Each school will provide a safe space and time during the school day for students to remove face covering.

  • Why are K-2 students not required to wear face coverings?

    • K-2 students will be asked and encouraged to wear face coverings. However, because of their young age, we understand this may be challenging for some of them, particularly those prone to touching or playing with the mask. Our medical experts have advised that improperly handling masks may create more significant challenges with the spreading of germs. For these reasons, we have provided flexibility for our youngest students to remove the masks inside the classroom, if more appropriate, to protect health and safety. To provide added protection in the classroom, the district will also supply plastic barriers for desks and tables in K-2 classrooms.  Of course, all students, including K-2, will be required to wear masks in hallways, on the bus, and other indoor areas outside of the classroom. 

    • We encourage parents and guardians of our younger students to begin preparing for the return to school by working with children to practice the appropriate way to wear face coverings and helping them to get used to wearing masks for extended periods of time. 

  • What is the consequence if a student refuses to wear a face covering? How will teachers manage enforcing the student face covering policy?

    • The face covering requirement in Phases 2 & 3 will be treated like part of the dress code. Schools will have masks available to provide to students who need them. If a student is in violation or refuses to wear a mask without an approved accommodation, their families will be asked to consider a remote learning option for their child. 

    • During our Summer REACH program which began on July 13 at 25 school sites, we have not encountered problems with family and student adherence to the requirement to wear a face covering or mask. 

  • Will teachers and staff have to wear a mask?

    • The short answer: yes. In Phases 2 and 3, all staff will be required to wear a face covering, except when a staff member is alone in a closed-door room or in a large, well-ventilated area where social distancing can be maintained. For example, a large, well-ventilated area could be a gymnasium, atrium, or outdoor space. A classroom is not considered a well-ventilated area. 

  • Is there a mask/face covering exemption or exception? 

    • Face coverings are required for students and staff in Phase 2 and Phase 3. Appropriate accommodations may be provided for students with special needs and staff with documented medical needs that prevent the wearing of a face covering or mask. 

  •  Will masks be provided for students and staff?

    • Yes, teachers will get a PPE kit, and students will be provided with face coverings. However, students and staff are welcome to provide their own face coverings that follow the district face covering guidelines, which will be included in our detailed guidance on July 31.

    • The teacher PPE kit will include: 

      • 2 cloth masks per employee for the year

      • 10 disposable masks per student per month

      • 5 disposable masks per student for school stock

      • Face shield for specific teachers...e.g.  Speech Language Pathologists

        • Non-medical grade

      • 5 gowns per nurse, multi-handicapped classroom, and high needs ExEd teacher (additional PPE as needed) 

      • 3 boxes of gloves per nurse, multi-handicap, and high needs ExEd teacher for first quarter

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