The city of Manitou Springs is requiring staff and students at schools located inside the city limits to wear face masks while indoors.
Manitou Springs Elementary School (MSES), Manitou Springs Middle School (MSMS) and Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) fall under the required mask/facial covering order by the City.
Although Ute Pass Elementary School (UPES) is in the Manitou Springs School District 14, they are not required to wear masks because the school is not located within city limits. However, Ute Pass Elementary School will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and highly recommend mask-wearing indoors.
Manitou Springs School District 14 is requesting specific variances and clarification with the City Council regarding indoor athletics, early literacy blocks, when staff are alone, and other aspects of the school day.
Teachers will once again provide mask breaks for students and outdoor learning will be encouraged if the weather allows for it.
The mandate for MSES, MSMS and MSHS will begin on Friday, August 20.
For UPES, the highly recommended mask-wearing protocol will also begin Friday, August 20.
The Manitou Springs City Council has not yet decided when the mandate will end, but city council meetings are scheduled to take place every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), fully vaccinated staff and students will not have to miss school due to quarantine.
Additionally, individuals who were confirmed positive with COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not need to quarantine.
Also, students and staff wearing masks do not have to quarantine.
Students and staff who live in a household with someone who has COVID-19, however, will need to stay at home.
Families, visitors, and volunteers will be limited in school buildings unless it is for authorized educational purposes. Those visitors will be required to wear a facial covering while inside facilities and appointments are required.
Volunteers attending athletic and extracurricular activities will be subject to local jurisdiction requirements. For example, attendees at an athletic contest held in Jefferson County will be subject to Jefferson County Public Health requirements, not El Paso County Health Department.
Face coverings are still required by the federal government on school bus routes, and the district will comply with that requirement.
If you have any questions regarding masks and/or health protocols, you can contact principals in the district, the district's Health Team, or the Superintendent of Schools at Manitou Springs School District 14.
Look for further communication from the district for plans to address mental health needs at each school and across the school district.
For the full letter to the community from the district's Superintendent, click here.