Mask Mandate Update

Mask Mandate Update
Posted on 11/15/2021
Mask Mandate Update November 2021Dear BSSD Families,

As we near Thanksgiving, it is hard to believe the school year has gone by so fast. Being in school and having our students on-site learning with our staff is definitely something we continue to be grateful for during this season. COVID-19 has created many shifts in our educational landscape. We are hopeful that stability and progress are coming soon.

In September we sent out a communication outlining the plan for the remainder of the semester. We felt this correspondence provided some manageable guidelines based on the information we had at the time. We as a district have followed the mandates for masking and have conducted contact tracing and quarantines this fall that was expected by the Jackson County Health Department. We also knew it was possible that there would be changes to this mandate by Jackson County even before the end of the semester. It is important to remember that our decision was made to keep masks on our students and staff to limit the quarantines necessary. As a part of our discussion and communication in September, we stated that “changes to mandatory quarantine requirements may result in revisions to our procedures.”

The Jackson County Legislature met this morning. One of the items on the agenda was, “A RESOLUTION ending the County’s current mask mandate order effective upon adoption of this Resolution.” By a vote of five to four, the Jackson County mask mandate has lapsed. By a vote of seven to zero, the Blue Springs School District Board of Education will follow the County’s mask mandate order expiration effective immediately. It would be inconsistent and arbitrary to keep the mask mandate in our schools if our students and staff were not being asked to wear a mask in any other setting. We will continue to report positive cases to the health department and allow the health department to follow up as necessary. All students currently at home due to a school-mandated quarantine need to remain at home until their quarantine lapses.

Please note that a federal public transportation mask mandate remains in place through January 18, 2022. Therefore, masks will be required on all buses.

We will continue to notify families when a positive case occurs in your child’s classroom, and the COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated on Fridays at 2 p.m. for the remainder of the school year.

The same healthy habits that have allowed our schools to remain open not only help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but also will keep our students from spreading other viruses. Any individual sick with possible symptoms of COVID-19 must remain at home until they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test (at-home tests are not accepted), an alternate diagnosis from a physician, or complete their 10-day isolation period. We have learned a great deal from the last two years, and it has reaffirmed our commitment to good hygiene, frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill.

It is imperative to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses that we keep students home when they are not well. Thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of illness in our schools.

We understand there will still be fear and anxiety in our community, and we have all felt the isolation and challenges that the pandemic has brought. If you are uncomfortable with this change, please contact your building principal to discuss an alternate educational platform for the remainder of the semester. Together we can continue to assess the situation and be flexible and committed to making decisions that focus on our students.

Blue Springs School District