COLORADO SPRINGS — On Wednesday, the superintendent for School District 11 announced that staff will be required to wear masks in school starting Tuesday, September 7.
The district released a message saying that based on current trends, they anticipate the mask mandate threshold for elementary students and staff will also be reached by Tuesday, September 7.
Below is the district's current COVID-19 mitigation plan:
- 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
The latest rate listed on the El Paso County Public Health website showed a seven-day incidence rate of 254.3 per 100,000.
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 and Staff,
We continue to monitor the El Paso County Public Health data and want to update you on the possible 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 individuals in a room are wearing a mask, it greatly reduces the number of students and staff who have to quarantine due to positive COVID cases.
As we monitor the El Paso County Public Health data, we anticipate the trend in cases to increase by the end of the week. If the data shows five consecutive days above 200/100K, as indicated here, we will implement mask/face covering requirements for all elementary students regardless of vaccination status. Due to rapid increase in cases in our community, we anticipate the mask/face covering requirement for elementary to go into effect by Tuesday, September 7, 2021. We will communicate with you as soon as possible regarding this requirement so you may have adequate time to prepare. 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.
In alignment with local and state guidance, face coverings will continue to be strongly encouraged for anyone who is 12+ years and not fully vaccinated but are not required if community transmission rates remain under the 250/100K five-consecutive-day threshold.
All D11 Staff
Effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021 all D11 staff will be required to wear a mask/face covering regardless of vaccine status while indoors with others in the same classroom/office.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.