On Friday, February 4th a court ruling was issued that has an impact on schools, communities, and our students. The Judge in the case issued a temporary restraining order that halts enforcement of the Governor’s executive order on masking, testing, and quarantining for close contacts. Triad will apply this decision to all students beginning Monday, February 7th. This means that beginning on Monday until further notice, masks will be strongly encouraged but not required within school buildings.
Triad has taken a position throughout the pandemic to emphasize support for our staff, families, and most importantly our students. Every decision has been driven by the objectives of keeping our students in school, following the law, and minimizing risk. We recognize and appreciate that the manner in which these decisions have occurred has not been universally supported, but we have been able to achieve these objectives and keep our students attending school in-person safely.
As with many legal rulings, the court’s decision to lift executive mandates is temporary and has already been appealed. In the coming days and weeks, a higher court’s ruling could cause another shift in mitigation policies. Triad will continue to follow the law throughout the legal process. As changes occur, we will continue to update our families as soon as possible.
As stated in the beginning of this message, Triad will still continue to strongly encourage students and staff to wear masks on Monday moving forward. While the number of positive COVID cases within our school has begun to go down, we continue to see cases in our buildings and understand that masks can help stop the spread. There may be specific concerns brought by staff and parents that cause a teacher to request that masks be worn at times when students are in close contact. We hope that students and parents will show empathy and respectfully consider these types of requests when asked.
The district is 100% committed to promoting a positive culture of respect for all students. Any negative comments or bullying due to the decision to wear a mask or not will be dealt with in a timely and serious manner. Every individual will be respected in their decision.
Families can expect that the district will continue to employ multiple mitigation measures within our schools including social distancing, cleaning & disinfecting, and hand-washing as well as excluding symptomatic students and staff. This last mitigation is even more important than ever during this time. Students who show COVID symptoms should not be at school at any time. If symptoms are evident, students will be sent home. The district will also continue to provide the opportunity for staff and students to test within each of our school buildings weekly.
Please note that the federal law still requires masks on buses. The court decision does not change this, and so students and staff who ride buses will still be required to wear masks.
Regardless of any changes that may occur within the coming days or weeks, Triad’s focus will remain on keeping our students in school and treating every individual with respect, support and care.
Triad Community Unit School District #2