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Face Covering Resources

Here’s a video with some thoughts from a couple of the parents who served on the HEAL Task Force:

Here’s a video about why we wear face coverings:

Here’s a video to help some younger students get used to wearing a face covering:

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Face Coverings

Who has to wear a face covering?

Currently, the TFSD is requiring all students, staff members, and visitors to wear face coverings when they are in the building and social distancing cannot be maintained. Teachers and staff members will utilize social distancing to facilitate face-covering breaks for students every hour.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, as they often are within the school setting. 

What is considered a face covering?

The TFSD defines a face covering as a protective material that covers the nose and mouth. We encourage parents to select face coverings that have multiple layers as the CDC has stated that these provide the best protection to those around the wearer. Face shields are acceptable face coverings. We encourage parents to contact the school district if they have questions about face coverings.

When are students required to wear a face covering?

Students are required to wear face coverings inside the school building. Exceptions will be made for breakfast and lunch times. Teachers will also utilize social distancing to facilitate mask breaks at least every hour. As we work through implementing this precaution, we know there are going to be situations we have not thought of. As these situations arise we will evaluate and adapt to provide the best education possible and protect the health and safety of our students and staff members.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, as is often the case in the school setting. Our goal with this requirement is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school buildings. We know face coverings are not foolproof but our local health care officials have made it clear the this is a way to slow the spread of COVID-19

Why is the school district requiring face coverings?

There are many dynamics that the district has had to weigh when it comes to what precautions to put in place in relation to COVID. The district is tasked with providing education to our community’s children as well as protecting the health and safety of our staff members and students. The district went through a lengthy process of gathering parent feedback and working with local healthcare professionals to evaluate all the options available to us. The decision to require face coverings was made based on guidance from health care professionals and feedback from the community. We know face coverings are not foolproof but we also need to do what we can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, our schools can stay open to educate our students within the school building.

My child is on a 504 or IEP and is struggling to concentrate with a face covering?

While we encourage all families to try wearing face coverings, we know there are certain situations where students will struggle. As such, considerations/exceptions will be made for staff and students who provide documentation from a state licensed medical professional stating the wearing of a face covering could be a health risk for that individual. Considerations/exceptions will also be made per IEP/504 team recommendation. Please remember that students have the option to wear face shields as well as face masks. 

My child has a medical condition that makes it challenging for them to wear a face covering. What should I do?

While we encourage all families to try wearing face coverings, we know there are certain situations where students will struggle. As such, considerations/exceptions will be made for staff and students who provide documentation from a state licensed medical professional stating the wearing of a face covering could be a health risk for that individual. Considerations/exceptions will also be made per IEP/504 team recommendation. Please remember that students have the option to wear face shields as well as face masks. 

How will school staff members work with students who are struggling to wear face coverings.

We understand that this new precaution is going to take some getting used to. Even adults have to practice wearing face coverings properly. Our teachers will be understanding that this is a learning process and will be patient as they work with students to help them develop proper face-covering habits. We encourage parents to help in this process by reminding students that this is a school requirement. Even if it is not the family’s practice outside the school building to wear face coverings, it is important within the school setting to follow the rules.

 

One teacher gave an explanation of how she plans to handle students who are struggling with wearing face coverings. “This is no different than what we do with any of the classroom norms in a normal year. Throughout the year we work with students to educate them on a number of hygiene topics from not picking their nose to coughing into their elbow. I don’t anticipate it becoming a disciplinary issue unless a student is completely refusing to wear their face covering. If that is the case I would work with my principal to determine if there is a better option for this student.”

Will face coverings be provided to students?

The TFSD will be providing three face masks to every student in our district. We will also have disposable masks on hand for instances when students forget their masks. Families can also request face shields for their students.

What if recommendations from health experts regarding face coverings change?

The district is continually evaluating the most current information available to us. The precautions we have in place now may change over time based on recommendations from local health officials and new research findings. 

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