Our Masking Protocol for the 2021-22 School Year
Bexley City Schools looks forward to welcoming back all of our students for in-person learning on Thursday, August 19. It is hard to believe that in just 10 days our buildings will be filled with our amazing staff and students to begin another school year.
We are excited to be back to a traditional, 5-day a week, all-in setting, and we plan to do so for the entire school year. It is critical for our students to be in an academic setting for their learning, social needs, and emotional well-being, and we want to ensure that we are able to avoid interruption in learning and minimize the need to quarantine students.
This evening, Dr. Fine recommended to the Bexley City Schools Board of Education to require all students, staff, and essential visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while inside our facilities during school hours effective immediately. This resolution was passed in a 3 to 2 vote. You can watch the Special Board Meeting here.
The COVID Delta variant is now the most prevalent strain of COVID-19 in Ohio and across the country. Data reviewed by the District continue to reveal this particular variant as highly contagious. It can still be transmitted to vaccinated individuals.
We recognize there are many perspectives on issues pertaining to COVID-19 and how to operate in this stage of the pandemic.
The Center for Disease Control recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal indoor masking for all children older than two and for staff in schools unless a medical or developmental condition prohibits its use.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education recommend students and school staff who are unvaccinated wear masks when indoors or in a crowded setting where distancing cannot be maintained.
Franklin County Public Health strongly recommends schools follow CDC guidance and adopt universal masking policies for all students, teachers, and staff regardless of their vaccination status.
Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health issued an indoor mask advisory on Thursday, August 5. Additionally, the City of Bexley updated its guidance to recommend that all individuals wear masks when in indoor public spaces on July 30th.
Ensuring students can attend school in person is a priority of the District. In a K-12 setting, wearing masks is a key preventative measure in reducing the spread of illness and avoiding quarantining students throughout the school year.
In the recently released Ohio Department of Health quarantine guidance for schools, wearing a mask, along with physical distancing of 3 feet, and other documented COVID-19 prevention policies allow students, regardless of vaccination status, to stay in school.
Consistent mask requirements at all grade levels also reduce the risk of social stigma associated with students making mask-wearing decisions.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we expect additional updates and we will be certain to communicate any changes to you directly. We will maintain a COVID-19 page (found under the About tab) on our website with updates on protocols and reporting (found at the top of every page).
We plan to release our additional mitigation strategies for the 2021-22 School Year by the end of the week. We will send them through our district newsletter and post them on our COVID-19 page. We will also send out additional information about athletics tomorrow.
We look forward to seeing our students soon!
Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2021