Hello Sioux Central Community,
We have seen an increase in positive COVID cases in our communities that is starting to adversely affect the attendance of healthy kids. We understand there is a personal choice in regards to personal safety and decision making around COVID-19. However, there was a change announced on September 28, 2020, when the Iowa Department of Public Health declared that if both parties in an exposure to a positive case were wearing a mask, that only the sick person would need to quarantine for 14 days.
Currently, we work with IDPH to contact trace, identifying all people within 6 feet for 15 consecutive minutes. In some of our 6-12 classes, this can be a significant number of people, and this is extremely frustrating and trying on families. We have seen more students wear masks because of this new guidance, but it only applies if both people are wearing a mask. With the current contact tracing structure, we are seeing healthy kids being sent home to quarantine simply because of who they sat near. Here is a link to this guidance.
On Thursday, October 29, the Board of Education approved a change to our Return to Learn guidance by requiring a mask for all PK-12 staff and students. With our knowledge of the Board's intentions, we believe that it is important that we act now.
Monday, November 2, 2020 Schools will implement a mask mandate for grades PK-12 that will run until we receive further guidance from the IDPH
When will students be required to wear masks?
Any time that they are not able to social distance (6 feet apart).
When Classroom Distancing Can't Be Accomplished (which is many of our classroom)
Will staff be required to wear masks?
Yes, any time when distancing is not possible.
Will masks be required on busses?
Yes, beginning Monday, November 2, masks will be required on all route and shuttle busses for all students PK-12.
What happens in the event a student refuses to wear a mask?
Students not in compliance will be sent to administration as this is a health issue, administration will determine next steps.
What about extra curricular activities? Am I required to wear a mask at events, programs and competitions?
We are requiring all individuals to wear a mask during all extracurricular activities held at Sioux Central when social distancing can not take place.
Sioux Central is one of many districts in our area that have now required masks. We see the benefits of face-to-face instruction and the joy we see as our students once again are able to interact and participate in activities. We don't want to interrupt this moving forward. Again, this is our next step in slowing down our exposures and quarantines. Whether you agree with masks or not, based on the new guidance this is the one way we can keep kids in school. If you have any questions, please contact your principal.
Kari Schmidt, PK-6 Principal
Jeff Scharn, 7-12 Principal
Kevin Wood, Superintendent