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Mask Mandate Update

(The full letter can be downloaded HERE)

April 6, 2021


Last summer, Fort Payne City Schools developed a plan for reopening school in the fall. This plan was developed to provide the safest environment possible for face-to-face instruction during a pandemic and public health crisis. All CDC and ADPH guidelines were followed in mapping the necessary steps to reopen. This plan has worked. We began school on August 12, 2020, for the entire student population of our system. Our calendar was not modified or the length of the school day changed. Our plan has proven successful to this point. The wearing of masks, social distancing, hand washing, adding air purification systems to all of our HVAC units and buses, and using electrostatic misters to apply disinfectant cleaner to neutralize viruses in all our facilities and buses, etc. has made our school environment as safe as possible. Governor Ivey will end the mask mandate for Alabama on April 9, 2021, but left it up to individual school districts to decide whether or not to keep a mask policy in place. We still feel the necessity to observe the guidance of the CDC and local doctors. The updated recommendations coming from the CDC are still specific to students in classrooms with universal mask wearing. The CDC recommends that all students remain at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal, regardless of whether community transmission is low, moderate, substantial or high. Due to the CDC guidance, advice of local health care professionals, and the success we have experienced since August 2020, we will continue to require universal masking on all of our campuses, facilities and buses as a precautionary measure. Masks will not be required in outdoor areas where 3-feet of social distancing can be maintained. We only have seven weeks left in this school year and continuing with our practice of safety first is in the best interest of our students and employees. Thank you for your understanding of our desire to keep our students and staff as safe as possible.
Sincerely,

Jim Cunningham, Superintendent

Fort Payne City School

Full Letter from Superintendent