Masks Not Required for 2021 School Year
June 16, 2021 - On June 15, the West Ada School District Board of Trustees accepted a proposal from administration to update the Pandemic Operating Plan. The change removed the mask requirement from the student handbooks for 2021-22 school year. It also outlined that any decision to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 will be made on a school-by-school basis, with the Superintendent having that decision making authority.
This decision was made based on a decline of confirmed cases, by evaluating our district data for our students and the regional positivity rate (2.62 percent at the end of May) as tracked by Central District Health. We have had the opportunity to critically analyze the operational impacts and the health impact regarding the mask decision. From an operational and choice standpoint, the district has both virtual and in-person options in place for all of our families for the fall.
We also recognize and appreciate the opportunity that our staff has had to obtain the vaccine. At this time, we estimate that nearly 80 percent of our staff have received the vaccination. Families, students and community members continue to get vaccinated throughout our schools and we expect this trend to continue as the vaccine becomes available to younger age groups.
We have deliberately engaged with health professionals, school staff and stakeholders regarding our mask policy, current confirmed virus cases and quarantine protocols. The Centers for Disease Control and Central District Health continues to work with our schools to provide guidance.
"As we learned throughout this pandemic, situations can be fluid and we will continue to work in partnership with our health professionals and families to provide safe learning environments for all of our students," said new West Ada Superintendent Dr. Derek Bub.
Below is the entire recommendation:
The information detailed below is the general process that is used when making decisions regarding the potential modification of a classroom/program/school environment, based on identified COVID-19 transmissions. Each decision is situationally specific and the process and conversations that lead to the decision may deviate from this general process. Ultimately, the superintendent has the authority to make operational decisions, if necessary, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which includes but is not limited to, implementing a mask requirement, and/or transitioning a school/classroom/program into a hybrid learning or remote learning model. School operation decisions will be based upon an in-depth review of the situation at that school/classroom/program.