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Thank you for your note regarding your child selecting the option to not to wear a mask.  I will let the appropriate people know and we also ask that you go over the information below with your child and we will also have these discussions with each student.  These times are highly charged and we are committed to staying focused on the educational experience we provide and letting every student feel that they belong. 

  1. This is a fluid situation.  We are constantly watching how our community responds and will adjust as we see fit, but are committed to offer a choice as long as possible.  The current policy is to give you an option, but there are several things that could occur to cause us to temporarily have everyone back in masks.  I cannot list them all, but a severe reaction and COVID spread on campus may cause us to reconsider this policy in addition to others.  The county could reinstate an ordinance requiring indoor masking that would mandate masking as we were last summer.  There are no “trigger” numbers in the data we are looking for that would automatically trigger a decision to change our policy.   There may also be certain areas or meetings on campus that do require a mask, so we request all students have a face covering accessible.

  1. The strongest opinions we have seen over masking is in the adult population.  We found the students to be extremely resilient with masks on and given that we are only asking for masks to be used indoors, we believe the lift is inconsequential for many students.  Your child may choose to wear a mask in the future, it is an optional act for them.  We will work hard to protect against any social pressure for masking on campus, however, the media and friends are constant sources of communication and, together, we should prepare your child for the eventual questions of “Where is your mask?” or “Why don’t you have your mask on?” from inquisitive friends.  We want these conversations to be positive interactions, and this is something we will be sensitive to and preparing for. 

  1. It is important to remember that within members of our community, is an honest sense of fear of COVID-19 and its potential impact.  Many have been personally impacted and lost loved ones.  It is appropriate and expected that anyone who is not masked be sensitive to, empathic of, and respectful of the feelings and concerns of others.  These are trying times and we all share a sense of responsibility to live with honor and act with respect.  We will be working hard on the dynamics of masking on campus and thank you in advance for your partnership as we take one day at a time back to better times. 

Thank you for being members of our community and working hard to make sure that each of us feel as safe as possible and deliver a great educational experience. 

If you have any questions about protocols or procedures related to COVID-19, please contact Nancy Anne Teems at the Maclay Health Center or you can reach back out to your homeroom teacher or division dean at anytime.