St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Don Haddad this week said face masks on students this fall will not be optional in most cases.
“I want to make this point very clear, that masks will be worn by students all through pre-kindergarten through 12th grade,“ Haddad said during a video session with the St. Vrain school board on Wednesday.
Haddad was responding to a parent who wrote that COVID-19 guidelines produced in June seemed to indicate the district was being too lenient on mask wearing in the classroom.
The district, the letter writer said, appeared to be appealing to a “small minority” of parents opposed to mask wearing.
Haddad told school board members the district is following strict guidelines from local, state and federal authorities. And that includes wearing masks in hallways, classrooms and on buses.
“Everything we are doing is being driven by the medical field,” Haddad said.
Younger students in the district will be able to take mask breaks during the day and there will be some mask exceptions for students with health conditions, he said.
The district outlined its tentative plan for the coming school year in a June 30 email to parents, with a pledge to return all students to full time, in-person learning as soon as possible. The schedule calls for a “hybrid” model for most of the upper classes to reduce unhealthy crowding in hallways and classrooms.
Its final plan for reopening this fall is scheduled to be released July 20.
Haddad warned parents and board members that those plans could change because COVID-19 also is changing.
“This is an evolving process,” Haddad said. “This could change after July 20 because the virus is always evolving.”
Students will be asked to follow 3-foot social distancing, he said, adding the district also has hired more custodial staff to clean rooms and hallways at the end of the school day. The new staff will bolster the regular custodial staff who will do “spot cleaning” during the school day, Haddad said.
An epidemiologist has been assigned to the district and will work with school nurses to help with health issues, he said. Parents, meanwhile, are being asked to check the temperature of their children every day and look for COVID-19 symptoms.