In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the Ware County School System is issuing a mandatory cloth face covering requirement for all students, staff members, and visitors. This action will take effect Monday, August 24, 2020 and is based on recommendations from the CDC, the Office of Governor Brian Kemp, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Southeast Health District.
Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer of protection against the transmission of COVID-19, in addition to preventive measures such as frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer, and physical distancing. Because physical distancing is not always possible in a school setting, the proper use of cloth face coverings becomes even more important in minimizing risks for everyone in our school buildings, as well as family members at home.
All students and staff members will be required to wear a cloth face covering during the school day, including while being transported by bus to and from school, and after school hours while participating in extracurricular activities, when practicable. Face coverings must comply with the dress code and must be worn properly at all times except during provided breaks (e.g., while eating or participating in physical activity). Break times will be determined by the school administration. Staff members may remove their face coverings when students are not present and social distancing from other adults is possible.
In limited cases, an individual may be unable to wear a cloth face covering for health, developmental, safety, or functional reasons. An alternative may be provided in some cases, for instance when an individual’s health care professional provides written documentation that a health condition prevents him/her from wearing a mask or if the IEP or Section 504 team determines that a student cannot safely wear a mask due to a disability or health condition.
If a student refuses to wear a face covering, the Superintendent or his designee may assign or the student’s IEP team may place the student in a digital learning environment to protect the health and safety of the student and/or others. If the student/parent refuses to participate in the digital learning option, attendance policies will apply.
Many of our students and staff members are already wearing face coverings on a daily basis, and we applaud their efforts to keep themselves and others safe. To reduce the unexpected expense of this decision on the families we serve, we will provide one reusable mask to every student and ask that parents help them sanitize the mask each night for reuse the following day.
The Face Covering Guidelines document provides additional information; please read over that document before asking questions. Your question may be answered there.
We are grateful for the cooperation of our students, staff, and visitors as we all work together to keep our schools open and our community safe!