On Thursday, October 1, the GHV School Board made some changes regarding face coverings. This was due to the changes made by the Iowa Dept. of Public Health and the Governor's request for face covering changes.Here are the changes and how they can impact your children.
a. The GHV School Board approved mandated masks for grades 1-12 when social distancing is not possible.
b. The GHV School Board approved mandated masks for students for all outdoor and indoor events, such as attending football, volleyball, XC, basketball, wrestling events as well as concerts, plays, etc. Masks will be mandated when social distancing is not possible.
c. The GHV School Board approved mandated masks for all school transportation when social distancing is not possible. This includes rural routes, shuttles, athletic events, FFA events, etc.
d. The GHV School Board maintained adults as highly recommended masks for all outdoor and indoor events. This is not a change.
e. As per the IDPH, gaiters and face shields are not adequate face coverings. The GHV Board approved students must use a manufactured mask (paper) or a cloth mask. See below, a link for proper masks and how to fit and wear a mask. Teachers may still wear a shield while teaching as long as they are following the 6/15 social distancing guidelines. Teachers should wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
f. Student athletes are not required to wear face coverings during competition. Masks on the sidelines or the bench are not required, but HCPH did state that athletes could wear masks on the sidelines or benches. I will work with our two athletic directors, Mr. Graham and Mr. Albertson, on this matter.
g. The Board asked administrators to explore ways to provide "mask breaks" for students.
h. All approvals are all effective Monday, Oct. 5
The GHV School Board requests that families provide their own masks for their children to assure you are wearing a mask that is as comfortable as possible and the proper fit. GHV has had many masks donated so ample masks will be in each building should a student forget to bring a mask.
The IDPH states that a person may opt out of wearing a mask under two scenarios: religious reasons and health reasons. Both would require documentation from faith based leaders and medical doctors in order to not wear a mask. Should we have any of these legitimate requests, GHV will do whatever we can to assure social distancing for these students.
Should students simply refuse to wear a mask, GHV will handle these situations individually based upon the age of the student. An example would be a 1st grader who keeps taking their mask off and playing with it is different than a high school student simply refusing to wear a mask. Consequences can be as small as politely asking the student to wear their mask or as big as suspending a student for refusing to wear a mask. I sure hope we never have to be put in that position.
Required masks are everywhere in the north Iowa area for school districts. All of our neighboring schools are now mandating masks for students. The whole idea of requiring masks surrounds itself around keeping our kids in school. Under the new guidelines, if everyone is wearing masks and someone tests positive, only the person who tested positive is isolated at home. Contact tracing would no longer send additional students home if everyone is wearing a mask properly, covering their nose and mouth.
Whether you agree or disagree with the School Board's decision, we hope that all GHV families will comply.