I have attached the current return to school document and if there was ever a “working” document this is most certainly it.
We have been working on this for the past few months and we are at the point where it is time to send some guidelines out, even though they are most definitely ever evolving, so that you can begin making your decisions and preparations, accordingly.
The main goals of this document are:
- Provide as much current information as possible, while remaining flexible, as all is literally changing on a daily basis.
- Although we want to make it as informative as possible, we have tried to keep the document as condensed as possible, in order to make it easier to navigate.
The topic of mandatory masks continues to come up and we have discussed that internally, and as a region, and county, at length. Currently, we are simply highly advising that masks be worn.
The main reasons for this are:
- The reality is there is no way to police or enforce this with 100% accuracy.
- If it is mandatory, and still some refuse (students or staff), then our only recourse would ultimately be to have disciplinary measures in place for those who choose not to wear them. Currently, we don’t believe we need to create any more issues for our staff, students, and families with what will already be numerous issues in dealing with this situation, as is.
- Doctor’s can also provide a note to not allow one to wear them, due to underlying health conditions. Therefore, the word “mandatory” would have a very loose meaning and reality.
- It is very difficult to wear them correctly, such as when one attempts to get a drink, eats, scratches their face, touches their nose, or simply touches and adjusts the mask, etc.; all of which negate the entire purpose.
So, masks are not full proof nor is mandating that they be worn. There are no absolutes with this; it is simply only one of the many layers of protection that all should consider.
If the County were to impose mandatory masks, then we could most definitely consider following that order.
Regardless, we are NOT OPPOSED to the concept in the least, as ideally it is an exceptional request; how could it not be? But, we have been visiting with the health department every single week since March 17th and they recommend it as an additional layer of protection; but, not as an absolute of any kind.
With all that said, we are not saying we still won’t make it a mandatory requirement. But, for the moment, like with most of the reopening guidelines, there are a lot of potential developments to come and who knows what this could look like in a month from now. So, we are trying to keep all options completely open.
I hope each and everyone of you is doing well; we have certainly missed the opportunity to serve your children, on a daily basis, and we look forward to having them back in our buildings. Thank you greatly for all that you do for your children and for the support that you provide for our District; we are greatly appreciative.
Dr. Joel B. Holland
Windsor C-1 School District