BY FREDA MIKLIN
Listed below are the most recent publicly-issued policies about masks in public school districts around the metro area as we went to print. We attempted to find out the mask policy at several area private schools, however those policies were not outlined on the public-facing school websites we visited. It was noted there that the information had been provided to parents of students at those private schools.
As of this writing, parents’ reactions to mask policies as schools open have ranged from displeasure in Jefferson County, where on August 4, 300 parents protested masks being required for younger children, to Cherry Creek, where 2,200 parents signed a petition presented to the school board at its meeting August 9 voicing strong objections to the fact that masks are not being required.
Littleton Public Schools
The CDPHE strongly recommends but does not require that unvaccinated students and employees wear masks. LPS will rely on parents to make the very best decision for their children. LPS will rely on staff members to make the best decision for themselves, as well.
In the absence of a public health order, capacity returns to pre-COVID practices. Schools will provide as much physical distancing as possible without disrupting the learning environment.
Cherry Creek School District
Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) is now recommending that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors, including teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools.
All students and staff are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask in school. Masks are required on all school buses. Mask wearing played a key role last year in keeping COVID transmission inside schools extremely low.
The decision on whether to have your child wear a mask in school will be up to each family.
Denver Public Schools
Face masks will be required inside school buildings for all Denver students, staff, and visitors, whether they’re vaccinated or not. The policy begins Aug. 9 for those in all DPS schools and buildings. The school district said that since the transmission of COVID-19 is significantly lower outdoors, students and staff will not be required to wear masks while outside.
Douglas County School District
Recently, the Delta Variant has proven to be very contagious. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) updated their recommendations regarding face coverings.
In alignment with this guidance, DCSD is:
Recommending that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public places, including teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools.
In addition, DCSD is requiring its student-facing staff who are not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering while indoors.
Face coverings must be worn by all staff and students regardless of vaccination status on DCSD school buses
Jefferson County Public Schools
Students ages 3-11 are required to wear masks indoors.
Students age 12 and older are recommended to wear masks indoors, whether or not they’ve been vaccinated. Unvaccinated staff members are required to wear masks. All staff members are recommended to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.