COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs School District 11 has updated their requirements for in-person learning to include all students and staff being masked while inside campuses, regardless of vaccination status, effective Tuesday.
The district referenced El Paso County Health COVID-19 data that an increased and consistent incidence rate - click here.
On Friday, District 11 announced a mask mandate for elementary schools, which followed up on a mask mandate for school staff.
The school district is basing the mask mandate off of its "Return to Learn" mitigation strategy which can be seen below:
- 200/100K - PK-5 Students, Staff, and Visitors will be required to wear masks (see mask guidance for exemptions)
- 250/100K - PK-12 Students, Staff, and Visitors will be required to wear masks (see mask guidance for exemptions)
- 300/100K - District 11 will be prepared for hybrid learning should entire cohorts or schools be closed due to COVID-19
In a letter, the school district said that the El Paso County Public Health data now reflects five consecutive days above the 250/100K threshold for elementary requirements.
According to the district's COVID-19 policy, if a mask mandate is enacted it will last for at least 30 days as the district evaluates COVID numbers in the community.
Full release from Colorado Springs D11:
Dear D11 Families,
As we’ve been communicating, we continue to monitor the El Paso County Public Health data and want to update you on the mask/face covering requirements in D11. One of our main goals is to keep our schools open for in-person learning as much as possible this school year. We’ve already experienced challenges in some of our schools that have impacted in-person learning, so we must take precautions. Regardless of individual feelings on masks/face coverings, the fact remains when all people in a classroom are masked, students will NOT have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. This helps D11 to achieve the main goal of keeping classrooms and schools open for in-person learning as long as possible.
The El Paso County Public Health data now reflects five consecutive days above the 250/100K threshold for secondary (grades 6-12) requirements as indicated here. Starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021, the District will implement mask/face covering requirements for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status. The requirement will be in place for 30 days and re-evaluated as we continue to monitor the community COVID spread. Your student’s school office will have disposable masks available for students should they forget, soil, or damage their mask.
The District previously communicated the mask requirements for all elementary students and staff also starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021. All communication may be viewed at www.d11.org/returntolearn.
The following situations allow for the removal of a mask:
• While eating• While outside during designated mask breaks
• Teachers and Special Service Providers may remove their masks and have students remove their masks when teaching phonics, small group reading instruction, or paying attention to articulation of sounds and speech. Masks/face coverings must be worn put once this instruction is completed
• While staff are alone in their office or classroom with the door closed*
• While seated in an open office format to include cubicles, staff may remove their masks if seated and more than 12 feet away from their nearest colleague who also must be seated*
*If someone enters the room, you must put on the mask/face covering.Any staff or student who is not physically able to wear and remove a face covering correctly should complete the documentation of inability to wear a mask – non-medical available at the school.Thank you for your continued partnership as we strive to keep our schools open for in-person learning, and keep our students and staff healthy and safe.