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Dadeville School Board Institutes Mask Requirement Based on New Quarantine Guidance
Matt Bushey
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

On November 12th the Governor released updated guidelines for K-12 schools regarding quarantine rules for close contacts.  The new guidelines are applicable only to Covid-19 exposures while at school.  These updated guidelines provide county health departments the flexibility to not quarantine students and school staff in the event of an exposure while at school  if the district has a mask mandate in place.  This is an update to the previous policy by the Governor which stated that close contacts identified at school were required to quarantine regardless of the masking policy.  In order for schools to take advantage of the updated quarantine recommendations it is required that all staff and students K-12 wear a mask. Under the new guidelines it is still the responsibility of the local health departments not the school districts to determine who is required to quarantine in the event of an exposure and what limits may be placed on quarantine orders.  Currently our local health departments are following the guidelines of the Governor requiring a K-12 mask mandate as the only means to avoid quarantine orders for students and staff determined to be close contacts at school.

The Dadeville Board of Education is committed to providing the best education possible to the entire student body.  The Board has made the decision to require masks in order to provide students with the best opportunity to remain in session with classes onsite given the newly released guidelines.  By following the new guidelines, it is the intent of the school board to avoid periods of onsite school closures and mass quarantines of students and staff.  This mandate will require that all students and staff wear masks while at school and on school buses.  While there are no guarantees that situations won’t dictate a school closure, the Board believes this decision provides the best opportunity for students and staff to remain in onsite classes which the board feels is the best educational environment.  

 As mentioned above the local health departments make the final determination on who is subject to quarantine orders. Dade County students are subject to Dade County guidelines, Polk county students are subject to Polk County guidelines, and Cedar County students are subject to Cedar County guidelines. Due to this reality, there are similarities and variances on quarantine rules between these counties.  All three counties allow for students who are close contacts to someone who tested positive at school to remain in school if they were properly wearing a mask and the school has a mask requirement in place. Please note the explanation on the following link: 

https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/wear-a-mask_stay-in-school.pdf

It is important to note relaxed quarantine rules only apply to students and staff who were exposed to COVID-19 at school. Also note Polk and Cedar County currently will allow these students to remain at school, but not participate in extracurricular activities. 

The situation concerning COVID-19 in our nation, state, and local levels is changing frequently. With this in mind the Board of Education plans to review our COVID-19 policies regularly to ensure that our protocols are current, necessary and effective at providing our students with the best possible opportunities for success. 

A follow up announcement will be made Wednesday concerning how the new requirements will be implemented in school and when these requirements will take effect.  Once those requirements are released if additional questions remain please feel free to contact school staff with any questions or concerns.