Update Regarding Mitigation Practices in Schools

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Face mask mandate will remain in place through the end of the school year on Wednesday, May 26

From the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have focused on protecting the health and wellness of our students and staff while world-class teaching and learning continue. These two goals are not mutually exclusive. Together, we have proven that we can keep kids safe and provide them with excellent educational experiences.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidance on the ability of fully vaccinated people to resume pre-pandemic activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing. Last week, the Clay County Public Health Center (CCPHC) announced the end of its COVID-19 emergency order, which included a face mask mandate for local businesses and workplaces. In a public statement on Saturday, May 15, the CDC recommended that “schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year,” and clarified that, “All schools should…prioritize universal and correct use of masks.”   

Both the CDC and CCPHC still strongly recommend the use of face masks in our schools. There is an important difference between the face mask mandate being lifted for private businesses and remaining in place for public institutions like KSD. Our policy requires us to follow CCPHC guidelines for communicable diseases. This means that our face mask mandate will remain in place through the end of the school year on Wednesday, May 26, for students, staff and visitors. In addition, the quarantine guidance for unmasked people has not changed. Unmasked students and adults who are not vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 10-14 days if they come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. 

The CDC has indicated that it will update its guidance for schools in the coming weeks. This updated guidance will inform our planning for the upcoming summer school and academic year.  We will continue to track the status of the pandemic in our community and collaborate with our public health partners to adjust our mitigation practices as appropriate. Our students and staff have proven to be incredibly adaptable and resilient. A glance at our social media feeds proves that great things are happening in our schools every day, no matter what. We are grateful for your support and patience as parents and caregivers. Our efforts are putting students in a position to thrive. Together, we will continue to ensure that every child in Kearney gets the world-class public education they need to build the life they want. Please send your input directly to our Central Office by emailing communications@ksdr1.net.

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