Good Afternoon, Big Walnut Families,
As a reminder, beginning on Monday, September 27, we will begin a K-6 school mask mandate for students. The mandate does not include preschool students, who were also exempt from the state order last year. This mandate, passed as a resolution by the Board, is for indoors only and it is in effect until one of the following criteria is met:
1. Vaccinations are available for all children served in the BW schools (ages 5-11, once enough time
has elapsed for kids to receive both doses and be considered fully vaccinated)
2. A change in quarantine requirements is made
3. The Pandemic Response Team makes a different recommendation
We have received many emails and calls by people saying our Board cannot make a mask requirement.
For your reference, I have included the legal authority for the Board to do this, per our attorney:
R.C. 3313.20 empowers the board of education of a school district to make any rules that are necessary for its government and the government of its employees, pupils of its schools, and all other persons entering upon its school grounds or premises. R.C. 3313.67 empowers each school district to make and enforce rules to prevent the spread of communicable diseases among the pupils attending the schools of the district as in its opinion the safety and interest of the public require.
If you don’t want your children to wear masks, and they qualify for waivers as outlined in the form on our website, please submit your request to your school office. To access the waiver form, please visit the forms link on our website.
Please understand that absent an approved waiver, your child will be expected to wear a mask. If your child does not have an approved waiver and will not wear a mask, you will be contacted to pick your child up from school. The last thing we want is for our staff members to take their focus off of educating our children to be “mask police,” but we are required to implement the resolution that was passed by our Board of Education at the September 16 meeting. You can watch the Board meeting on our website at bwls.net if you are interested in the Board’s discussion on the topic. Please do not direct any anger over this issue at our staff members.
Finally, as a reminder, according to quarantine requirements from the Delaware Public Health Department (DPHD), a student who is not masked will still be subject to quarantine by the DPHD. This applies to all students at a lunch table and to students who are unmasked as a result of a parent-requested waiver from the District’s mask mandate. It has been stated to me by many people that we do not have to recognize the health department’s quarantining requirements. I have attached a letter from Health Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson that addresses this issue.
Have a great weekend,