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Details Regarding School District Five’s Mask Requirement for Students and Staff

School District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties will require students and staff to wear face coverings in district facilities and on school buses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This requirement is in accordance with recommendations from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), the SC Department of Education (SCDE), federal guidelines, and a school board policy that was approved during an August 10, 2020 meeting of School District Five’s Board of Trustees. 

 

Student Guidelines

Per school board policy ADD:

 “All students are required to wear face coverings while on district property, including the classrooms, on district transportation, or attending a school related activity (e.g. athletic events, field trips, etc.). Certain classes or activities may be granted a limited exception to this requirement at the discretion of the superintendent or his/her designee. The district will provide masks to students who are unable to provide their own and expects that reusable masks will be washed regularly to ensure maximum protection.

Exceptions for wearing a face covering may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • mealtimes
  • outdoor recess where students can maintain a physical distance of at least six (6) feet
  • administration of medication
  • when seated at workspaces and social distancing permits, at the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee.

 

Visit the link to read the full policy: https://bit.ly/3fYOWhA

 

Mask Protocols

In accordance with guidance from the CDC and state officials, face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth and:

  • be snug but comfortable against the sides of the face,
  • be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • include multiple layers of material,
  • allow breathing without restriction,
  • be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape (unless it is a standard medical grade surgical mask that will be disposed of daily).

​Any mask that incorporates a valve or is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is not a sufficient face covering, per new CDC guidelines. They allow droplets to be released from the mask and are NOT allowed. These include, but are not limited to:

  • nylon masks, mesh masks, lace masks, or knit/yarn masks
  • masks with vents, visible gaps, holes, or other openings in the design or material

​All face coverings must also meet School District Five school dress code guidelines.

 

Masks & Other Safety Measures

Wearing a face covering does not replace the need for other safety measures including frequent hand washing and social distancing. Several safety measures will be implemented in schools and offices to prevent the spread of illnesses. Health officials suggest the following safety protocols:

  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing face coverings or face shields to prevent potential contamination.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer before putting on a face covering or face shield.
  • Remove your face covering or face shield carefully and wash your hands thoroughly after removing or use hand sanitizer.
  • Wash the face covering or face shield after each use (daily).
  • Do not reuse disposable masks. 
  • Label the mask(s) with your child’s name using a permanent marker. 
  • Consider purchasing multiple masks to use over the course of the week.
  • Consider sending an extra mask in a plastic bag to school with your child.

 

​​Face Covering Exceptions

Individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering may seek reasonable accommodations. A request for medical exception must include a written letter, signed by a medical doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, demonstrating that wearing a face mask poses a medical risk to a person’s physical well-being and is medically contraindicated. 

 

Disabilities and religious beliefs that prevent students from wearing face coverings may also be considered for exemptions, with written requests for reasonable accommodations. Requests must be submitted to your school administrator before the start of school for students (September 8). 

 

SCDHEC has determined that face shields cannot be used as substitutes for face masks. There may be a small number of individuals who have a medical or other documented accommodation related to face masks. In these limited situations, face shields might be utilized, understanding their limitations and the heightened need for adherence to social distancing.

 

Masks and other classroom expectations will be communicated closer to the start of school for students. For more information on the district’s mask requirement visit our website at www.lexrich5.org/20-21reentry. Email questions to: reentry@lexrich5.org