Natrona County School District Board Seeking Variance Request to Remove Mask Mandate
The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees will be seeking a request from the State Health Department to remove the current mask mandate for the remainder of the school year.
The Natrona County School District released a statement on Saturday, sating that they have "developed a path forward that will result in a variance request to the Statewide Public Health Order #1 (face covering order) in k-12 schools and facilities on May 10, 2021."
The release reads as follows:
"The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees and staff are committed to supporting the learning needs of all children while ensuring a safe and healthy environment. In the face of the detrimental impact of COVID-19 across the state and nation, many schools were unable to return to traditional brick and mortar learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
With dedicated resolve, the Trustees and staff of Natrona County worked diligently to continue to provide high-quality education services to all students by providing in-person learning, as well as a virtual option, for the 2020-2021 school year. Over the course of 6 weeks during the summer, NCSD Trustees and staff put forth a concerted effort to build a strategic and effective Smart Start Reopening Plan aligned to the statewide public health orders. The successful implementation of this plan ensured schools in Natrona County opened in the fall.
We attribute the ability to continue to offer in-person instruction, meeting the needs of our students and community, to the steadfast resolve of students, staff, and families in adhering to the guidelines established within the SmartStart Reopening Plan. We have 34 days of school remaining at NCSD, and to date, we have not needed to close a school or classroom due to COVID-19; that is a tremendous testament to the work of our students, staff, and Trustees.
The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees and the Superintendent have developed a path forward that will result in a variance request to the Statewide Public Health Order #1 (face covering order) in K-12 schools and facilities on May 10, 2021. This will allow staff time to develop and implement plans for students and staff who have concerns regarding the removal of the statewide face covering order. The State Public Health Officer, Dr. Harrist, must approve all variance requests prior to them taking effect.
Feedback can be shared by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org where it will be submitted to the Board of Trustees without alteration."
The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet on Monday, April 26 and one of the topics of conversation will be the mask order. Various NCSD parents have stated that they plan to organize a 'demonstration' outside of the meeting to protest the fact that, previously, the NCSD Board opted not to ask the State Health Department to abolish the mask mandate for NCSD students.