Dear BEA Community:
I wanted to give you a summary of the items discussed by the Board at last night's meeting and update you on our COVID counts. Last night the Board had public comments for about two hours. Most of the comments were centered around not requiring students to wear masks and concerns about quarantining and closing schools to remote learning.
Mrs. Greene and I spoke afterward and here is a summary of what we discussed with those present:
1. The Board will follow the mandate until it would be deemed illegal or overturned by the legislature.
2. The Administration and staff will ask students if they would like a mask if they do not have one. If they respectfully declined, they would not be disciplined. It was also stated that we hoped that we could work together with parents to meet the mandate and also help stop the number of quarantines.
3. Any student wearing a mask who is a close contact to another student wearing a mask would not have to quarantine provided they were 3 feet or more apart.
4. The MS/HS was going to adjust their lunch schedule and locations so that students would be sitting further apart during lunch.
5. All students will receive a 10 minute mask break every period at the MS/HS and every 40 minutes at the elementary schools.
6. I discussed the rationale of why the district was not accepting antibody tests any longer. Those that submitted tests on or before September 15 would be grandfathered for 90 days from the date of their antibody test.
7. We discussed looking at legal options to shorten the time students are quarantined and/or lessen the number of students that need to be quarantined due to being a close contact.
8. If everyone wore a mask or face shield, the number of quarantines would drop to near zero based on the new CDC guidelines. Exceptions would be sports teams with a positive case.
9. AT this time, schools will remain open to in-person learning.
Today, we had 3 additional cases of COVID at the MS/HS and as I am writing this, we are still contact tracing. So far, 36 students have been quarantined. We will continue to monitor this situation. Several students will be returning from quarantine early next week.
Scott V Graham