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Mask Requirement Beginning Monday, September 20, 2021

September 16, 2021

Dear Families,

Due to the continued rise in both COVID cases and the quarantines that follow, we will enact a mask requirement for all individuals (students, staff, visitors, etc.) beginning Monday, September 20. This requirement will be in effect for all indoor activities. 

We have tried to avoid this measure knowing that many of our families expressed concerns about mask-wearing at the end of last year and into this summer. However, our own data indicates that we must take clear action to keep students in school and avoid a return to virtual instruction. Specifically, as of today, only the 17th instructional day of our school year, we have experienced 30 COVID cases among staff members, 133 cases among students, and 871 student quarantines. On average, then, we are quarantining over 50 students per day. We cannot in good conscience continue to remove so many students from our classrooms. County and state quarantine guidelines allow masked students to continue to come to school even if exposed to a peer with COVID. 

We will continuously monitor our data to determine when we can again lift our mask requirement. We will communicate with families about any change in our procedures. 

Also on Monday, we will begin to offer Google Meets to students who are in quarantine. These Google Meets are not interactive and they are not required of students; we will not take attendance. The Google Meet is a way for students to listen in to their classroom to hear lectures, explanations and directions that can help them complete their work. Students can access these meets through Google Classroom at the same time they would normally have class. 

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to navigate this COVID era. None of us want to be in this situation again. We celebrated at the end of last year and looked forward to a return to “normal.” Our data to this point in the school year, though, compels us to take clear, immediate steps to reduce the impact of COVID.

Sincerely, 

Charlie