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Draft of school district's plan doesn't include mask requirement

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Masks won't be required this school year at the Carroll Community School District, according to a draft plan that will be presented at a school board meeting tomorrow night.

The school board will discuss and approve the district's “Return to Learn” plan during the meeting, which covers a variety of topics including social distancing, busing, classroom cleaning and more. The draft of the plan notes that masks or face shields likely will be strongly encouraged but not required for students and staff. School leaders are continuing to revise the draft that will be presented during the meeting, and the board could make additional changes.

The plan being presented to the board also likely will include changes in the school's bus routes; school officials previously discussed the possibility that, in accordance with a state law allowance, students in kindergarten through eighth grade who live within two miles of the school and high school students who live within three miles might not be bused to school to allow students to spread out more on school buses.

The board is expected to vote to approve the plan, which could include modifications to the draft plan presented to them, during their meeting, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Carroll High School auditorium.

Several key points from the Return to Learn draft for the district:

— “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hygiene Measures — We anticipate face coverings will be strongly encouraged for students and staff. Guidance and recommendations on face coverings can be found on the CDC Cloth Face Covers webpage. Students and staff will be responsible for providing their own masks or face shields. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face coverings (backups to personal face coverings), hand sanitizer, thermometers and gloves will be provided to schools on a continual basis throughout the school year. Additional signage on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures including face coverings will be on display in buildings. Consistent scheduled times and procedures will be established throughout the day for hand hygiene, promoting hand washing. All staff and students will be required to stay home when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.”

— “Building Traffic Guidelines - students and staff are asked to take their temperature prior to entering the school bus or building each day. The daily movement of students will be evaluated and where possible, traffic flow will be reduced in an effort to keep people separated. Visitors to the building will not be allowed during the 2020-2021 school year.”

— “Group Gatherings and Social Distancing Requirements — CCSD will follow the guidelines of the Iowa Department of Education and the Department of Public Health regarding group size along with social distancing expectations. CCSD will avoid mass gatherings in large groups such as assemblies, field trips and whole school activities. Social distancing, meaning 6 feet or more between students, will be done in classrooms to the fullest extent possible.”

— “Transportation - Busing will be available for students who meet the qualifications for transportation. The district will limit bus capacity to two people per seat maximum and we will social distance to the degree we can. There will be assigned seats on all buses and siblings will be required to sit together while riding the bus. Masks will be at a minimum, strongly recommended for students riding the bus. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each route/trip.”

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