Stairway

School Board Votes to Request a Mask Variance

In action taken at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Converse County School District #1 Board of Trustees, a motion was approved to apply for an exception to the state health orders requiring face coverings in the district’s schools and at district indoor events. The exception request was approved because the metrics related to COVID-19 put the county in the “Green Zone” for the past 14 days. Also, the county’s numbers of active cases are currently very low at 3. Both the rate of positive COVID cases per 100,000 and the rate of test positivity are currently low in Converse County.

The exception request will be submitted to Converse County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Campbell. If the exception request is approved at the county level, it will be submitted to the state health officer for final approval and review by the office of the attorney general.

The district did not request an exception from social distancing or enhanced hygiene provisions of the state health orders. The district did not request an exception from the requirement that symptomatic students, staff, and visitors not enter the district’s buildings or attend events. The district did request that if a student, staff member, or visitor has had contact with a positive COVID-19 case, she/he would be allowed back in buildings or at events after 10 days rather than 14. The requirement to wear face coverings on buses is a federal requirement and will remain in place.

If the exception request is approved, students, staff, and parents will be notified that face coverings are recommended but not required. In the meantime, the requirement to wear a face covering in all district buildings remains. The requirement to social distance to the greatest extent possible and the requirement to practice hand hygiene will remain in place. Enhanced cleaning protocols employed since the beginning of the pandemic will continue. Buildings are still closed to visitors except with special permission for certain extenuating circumstances.

There are active cases of COVID-19 in the county, and our students are approaching some milestone events such as prom, graduation, and the culminating events for spring athletics and activities. Those who are symptomatic or have had contact with a positive COVID-19 case should not come to the schools or attend events. The district urges responsible and safe behaviors aimed at protecting our at-risk and vulnerable population and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.