Below are the main points being considered at this time by USD327 concerning masks and their use:
- Masks will be required in our schools for students, staff, and guests
- Masks when used in conjunction with social distancing decreases the likelihood of transmission since Covid-19 is transmitted by droplets in the air
- Mask breaks will occur throughout the day when possible
- We are reviewing best practices if classrooms can be social distanced during portions of the day
- Students are encouraged to have several personal masks of their own as well in addition to the provided masks. These would be for entering/exiting the building and for situations that we may not be able to hand out a mask in a timely manner
- Layouts of the lunchrooms are being altered to allow for social distancing so our students/staff can take their masks off safely and for a break from the mask as well, and yes, so they can eat
- Masks will be required by all who are riding on a bus
- Students may wear their own mask if preferred
- ECHD and Ellsworth County Medical Center have advised us that there are very few medical exceptions to wearing a mask
- Asthma is not a medical contraindication for mask wearing at this time
- The district has masks ordered, but not on-site yet, for both Students and Staff
- We have about 3000 masks on-site:
- We have on order:
- Over 3400 washable masks ordered in red, black, blue, green and purple for students with Bearcats on them
- Over 3400 washable gaitors in those same colors for students
- 1000 masks in red, black and gray for staff with a Bearcat on them
- 500 clear masks that can be used for teaching in situations when we need to see the lips and movement of the mouth
- 20,000 disposable masks
- We have 10 to 15,000 masks ready to be picked up at Ellsworth County Health Department (ECHD)
- A face shield is not considered a mask and the two are not interchangeable. The use of a face shield is only necessary during medical procedures
In addition, the district is working on and ordering additional cleaning supplies, Plexiglas, tables, and other equipment.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association’s executive board voted yesterday to keep fall school activities on schedule. As more information comes out on this as the situation develops in the next week or so.
USD327 staff is working on committing to starting school face-to-face as best we can and we know we will have exceptions. Our intentions are that we will narrow down and provide more information to families so they can make good decisions for their family. Look for that soon and look for surveys and instructions arriving soon to help us prepare as well for the school year.
327 has said this before, remember this is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation. So realize things change and the decisions we are making now are based on what we know right now. I think KSHSAA executive director Bill Faflick summed it up pretty well yesterday, “There’s no good answers as we move forward, in fact, we know that every decision that is made is right and every decision is wrong.”
Stay well and Be GREAT!