Linton schools delay re-opening, address facial masks

In a letter to parents today, Dr. Kathy Goad, Superintendent of Linton-Stockton School Corporation, outlined the delay of the school’s re-opening for the 2020-2021 school year by two days.

In addition, she outlined the use of facial covering use by students, including what grades would be affected, when face masks would be encouraged or required, as well as some exceptions and special circumstances.

Dr. Kathy Goad Superintendent 
July 27, 2020 

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is an understatement to say that preparing for this school year has been like no other and our current situation is very fluid. As promised we will keep you updated and today I am sharing a change to the school calendar and a few changes to our reopening plan. 

The student first day was scheduled for Wednesday, August 10th, however, the decision has been made to delay our start until Wednesday, August 12th for students in grades 1 through 12. This will give us a couple of extra days to assure all of our cleaning supplies and materials have all arrived, our staff is properly trained in our new procedures and protocols, our virtual teachers are trained on the new curriculum and students are properly scheduled, and everything is in place to welcome our students ‘home’. 

Our Preschool and Kindergarten students will receive a letter from their classroom teacher with the opportunity to schedule an individual appointment for Wednesday August 12th or Thursday August 13th so the child and their parent(s) can meet their teacher and visit their classroom. Their first day of school will be Friday, August 14th. 

With the Governor’s mandate of face coverings, we have updated our reopening framework to the following: 

All children in grades, 3-12 regardless of age, are required to wear a face covering or a face shield while physically present in any school building, facility, or grounds. 

Students in grades K-2 will not be required to wear a mask. However, all students will be required to carry a mask at all times. A staff member may suggest, in certain situations, that a student wear a mask. Examples would include if a student or employee becomes ill or needs to visit the nurse for any reason, small group activities, or abrupt changes in the school environment. Although individual staff have the discretion to suggest students in grades K-2 to wear a mask during certain activities or in certain environments, this discretion is not intended to allow any staff member to require students in grades K-2 to wear a mask throughout the day.

Additionally, the information below pertains to certain situations within the school environment. In the event face covering is not required based on the situation, a student or staff member may still choose to wear their covering. 

School Transportation: All students, regardless of age, are required to wear a face covering or face shield when a passenger on a school bus or other school transportation. 

Classrooms: When a classroom or place of instruction can be configured so that all students and staff can maintain six feet of social distancing from one another at all times, face coverings or face shield do not need to be worn during in-person educational instruction. 

Recess: Face coverings and face shield may be removed during recess periods provided six feet of social distancing can be maintained. 

Extracurricular & Co-Curricular Activities: When engaging in strenuous physical activity students will not have to wear a face covering or face shield. However, during times of transition, or non-physical activity when six feet of social distancing cannot be achieved and maintained a face covering or face shield must be worn. 

Exemptions: When a student has a prevailing medical condition, mental health condition or disability which prevents wearing a face covering. Documentation of such a condition must be in written form from a physician and presented to the school nurse. 

The school corporation will provide each student with two washable masks and a lanyard in order to keep the mask on the person at all times. Students may choose to wear their own mask or face shield provided it does not violate the school dress code. 

I have included in this mailing a document from the Indiana Department of Education providing guidance on face coverings for you to review. 

The CDC has issued new guidance for self-isolation from “at least 72 hours” to “at least 24 hours” has passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. We have also made this change in our plan. 

All updates will be posted on our website in a document which includes the date of the update and what page it can be found in our Reopening Framework and Continuous Learning Plan. 

Once again, we thank you for your support of Linton-Stockton Schools and your patience as we prepare to return to school. 

Yours in Education, 

Kathy Goad 

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