Here are a few commonly asked questions about the wearing of masks during the new school year.
Must people experiencing an immediate health challenge wear a mask? Masks may be removed on a short-term basis when a person experiences shortness of breath, nausea, asphyxiation, or some other health-related experience that reasonably necessitates the removal of a mask.
What is the appropriate way to wear a face mask? A face mask must cover the nose and mouth. Face masks are not allowed to be worn under the nose or mouth.
What types of Masks or Face Coverings are not allowed by SCCPSS?
- Masks made from loosely woven fabric or that are knitted, i.e., fabrics that let light pass through
- Mask with exhalation valves or vents (including those with 2.5PM or other replacement filters)
- Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose or too tight)
- Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather)
Face shields are NOT allowed as a substitute for a face mask unless approved to meet the specific educational need of a student in accordance with an IDEA or Section 504 plan. Neck fleeces, also called gaiter masks, are NOT allowed. Wearing a fleece mask or gaiter results in a higher number of respiratory droplets because the material breaks down larger droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air.
**SCCPSS follows the recommendations of the CDC for allowable face coverings.
Will face mask exemptions be approved? A student may be considered for an exemption if a treating physician provides written documentation stating the medical reason a student cannot wear a mask. Students with disabilities may be exempted in accordance with accommodations established through individualized educational plans (IEPs and 504). Such exemptions should generally be made through IEP and 504 team meetings. Disability-based exemptions may be implemented prior to conducting an IEP or 504 meeting with the special approval of the District's 504 Coordinator.
Will the District provide face masks? Parents are required to provide their student(s) with face masks. SCCPSS will seek to provide a temporary face mask if a student arrives at school without a mask for that day.
Is it permissible for a student to refuse to wear a face mask? It's important for parents to partner with the District to educate students on the importance of wearing face masks. Repeated non-compliance with face coverings when the District has issued a health safety requirement for masks may result in the delivery of instruction through the District's online school option.
Are face masks required on school buses or during sporting events?
Students may be required to wear masks on school buses based on a District mask requirement. In general, school buses will be one of the most likely settings where a mask limitation will apply. School site mask restrictions will normally apply to after-school events on school property unless the District indicates otherwise.
Are students required to wear face masks during recess? Students should seek to maintain appropriate social distance. SCCPSS face covering protocols include mask optional for outdoor events/activities.
What is the best way to handle a face mask? Masks should be placed in a clean receptacle when not being worn. (ex: bag labeled with child's name)