MCS to Require Face Masks in PK-6

MCS to Require Face Masks in PK-6
Posted on 08/16/2021

Please watch this important announcement from Superintendent Jonathan Cooper about *NEW* face mask requirements for Mason Early Childhood Center, Mason Elementary School and Mason Intermediate School students.

Our school district’s primary focus is to keep students safe and in school. Local public health officials note the importance of wearing masks while indoors amid an increase in the highly transmissible COVID-19 delta variant - especially for those who are unvaccinated. 

Beginning Tuesday, August 17, 2021, PK-6 students will be required to wear masks indoors while at school. Masks provide a layer of protection that help keep students safe and out of quarantine. In alignment with our public health experts, we strongly recommend that middle school and high school students wear masks while indoors, particularly for those who are unvaccinated. MMS & MHS will not mandate masks unless there are rising levels of positive cases and subsequent quarantines that would necessitate making mask-wearing a requirement. 

Remember, the Ohio Department of Health’s new guidelines for quarantine after exposure in K-12 settings allow vaccinated individuals to remain in the classroom and participate in extracurricular activities and sports as long as they have no symptoms. Importantly, if the exposed individual was unvaccinated but wearing a mask, they can also remain in the classroom and participate in sports and extracurricular activities as long as they have no symptoms.

All MCS staff are required to wear a mask if they are within 6 feet of a student. Visitors to schools will also be required to wear a mask inside our schools.

Last year we successfully educated students all year, and never had in-person learners switch to remote learning, because we leaned on local public health experts’ guidance and our local data. You may view real-time and cumulative Mason student and staff quarantines and positive cases on our district website, which will also be linked in principals’ weekly newsletters. We will continue to rely heavily on our local data. If there is a need to step up and change course we will adjust & adapt, and swiftly communicate changes. 

We recognize that changes in Mason City Schools’ COVID protocols over time have been challenging and divisive for some members of our community. While members of our community may not be unified on mask-wearing or vaccinations, we hope we can all come together to keep our kids in school. As our MCS Culture Guide reminds, “We are stronger together!”

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