COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Friday, Academy District 20 announced a mask requirement for all students in preschool through 12th grade while inside classroom settings or other large group indoor gatherings.
The mask mandate also applies to all faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of location and grade affiliation.
Face coverings and masks will continue to be required on school buses per federal law.
The mandate goes into effect Monday, September 27.
During passing periods, students will be allowed to take their masks off until entering the classroom. District officials said this is because students are not together for more than 15 minutes during the passing period.
According to Superintendent Tom Gregory, more than 2,000 students and staff have experienced quarantines through the first six weeks of school. Gregory said that equates to more than 300 students in quarantines every week since the beginning of school.
Officials said if the district continued without a mandate, they risked students missing important activities that support their academic, social, emotional, and mental health.
Gregory concluded his email with:
As I have said before, I do not intend to debate the effectiveness of facial covering/mask-usage. The fact remains, under the current state regulations, universal masking, vaccination, and recent COVID-19 diagnosis are the only exemptions from quarantine.
I have met with representatives from the Governor’s office requesting changes to existing regulations and I have proposed alternatives to regulations, but with no success. I will continue to work with local public health to propose and develop alternatives that could reduce quarantines going forward, without requiring face coverings. I am frustrated by our current situation as it places public education in a no-win position.
I am committed to keeping students in school and in-person. Attending school in-person supports academic, mental, social, emotional, and physical wellness and stability. It keeps our students engaged not only during the school day, but also in important after school activities.Tom Gregory
Superintendent of Schools
Academy District 20
Families can expect to receive additional information from their schools soon.