info: Cloth Face Coverings in the KPBSD

Cloth face coverings will be required in KPBSD schools in all COVID19 risk levels (low, medium, high) for all staff, and students in third grade and older, whenever a 6’ physical distancing is not possible. If a cloth or clear face covering is medically inappropriate or cannot be worn, a face shield that extends at least to the chin and around the sides of the face will be allowed. Students in grades Pre-K through second grade will not be required to wear a face covering, yet do still need to have a cloth face covering in their school supplies. They will be directed when and if they need to wear them. Handwashing and physical distancing will emphasized in all grades.

Clarifications specific to Pre-K to 2nd grade mask wearing:

1. If a cohorted* student steps outside the classroom and there is the possibility that they will come in contact with a person from another class cohort, they should wear a mask. Example: leaving class to go down the hall to the bathroom or nurse office, riding the bus, coming into school in the morning before they reach their classroom, or leaving at the end of the school day.
*students treated as a group

2.  If a medical doctor deems there is a medical issue that dictates a student not wear a mask at all, a note to that effect from the doctor will suffice for an exemption. However, if they cannot wear a mask, perhaps they can still wear a face shield.

3.  Students with special or intensive needs will follow the same mask wearing guidelines as all students. Although, there may be extenuating circumstances that due to the child’s disability, a mask will not be required.

4.  Classes need to be cohorted on the playground, and masks do not need to be worn.

5. If a class has mixed grades, and some of those students are in grades 3 or above, or if a small school combines students in PreK – 12th grade, everyone needs to wear a mask, even if they are in PreK – 2nd grade.

6. All vulnerable student populations attending school during a high “Red” High Risk scenario will be required to wear mask unless a medical condition or disability prevents that from occurring. This includes all preschool and kindergarten students.

A cloth or clear face covering is included in the student school supply list (needed in certain situations, such as when a student is ill and going to the nurse’s office or will be in a common area of the school outside their cohort.)

This communication is from our KPBSD Nursing Supervisor Iris Wertz, RN, RSN, about mask wearing at this age:

Now that there has been enough time to gather data from a worldwide perspective on COVID19 we are able to see patterns of transmission and infection on a larger scale. What we are finding is that children under 18 have a lower rate of transmission and infection than older groups, and children under 10 have significantly lower rates. Due to this, our state changed the travel mandates from testing children over the age of 2, to only testing over the age of 10. We are in line with the CDC’s statement that: Younger children (e.g., preschool or early elementary aged) may be unable to wear a mask properly, particularly for an extended period of time. Wearing of masks may be prioritized at times when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (e.g., during carpool drop off or pick up, or when standing in line at school).

When younger students are able to be in their regular classroom they will not be required to wear masks and physical distancing will still be emphasized where possible. However, in commons areas outside the classroom where they might mix with other classes or students, they will need to wear a mask. They will be directed when to do that by their teacher.

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