DENVER – Adams 12 Five Star Schools will require all students in preschool through 6th grade to wear masks indoors, regardless of what county the school is located in, district officials announced Friday.
Superintendent Chris Gdowski said in a letter parents, teachers and staff the mandate comes after a new public health order from the Broomfield Department of Public Health, which requires kids ages 2-11 to wear masks while in school as well as in childcare settings.
The district will continue to strongly encourage students in grades 7-12 to wear masks.
Gdowski wrote in the letter all staff will continue to wear masks while indoors, “given our interest in minimizing preventable staff COVID absences and maintaining continuity in instruction and services.”
The superintendent acknowledged that mandating masks in schools gives rise to “very strong feelings” within the community, but said health officials from both Broomfield and TCHD “appropriately weigh the information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, while also considering unique conditions and factors within our local communities.”
Gdowski also said a “meaty part” around conversations with public health experts this week which have carried significant weight for him have revolved around a recent letter from the Colorado chapter of the of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which this week urged local public health officials to mandate masking in schools.
“These pediatricians hear, see and can evaluate the various points shared with me by staff and parents but at a much bigger scale; collectively they serve hundreds of thousands of students,” Gdowski wrote. “In their appointments they hear from children and parents with a variety of impacts and concerns related to COVID and masking; everything from concerns about depression, anxiety, and inhibitions about speaking through a mask at school to the COVID impacts they've seen for children with asthma, compromised immune systems, pulmonary conditions and beyond.”
The superintendent hoped parents would focus on what he called “the many positive opportunities for students compared to a year ago: consistent in-person schooling with limited quarantine requirements; athletic and activities seasons that are not truncated and allow spectators; broad opportunities to interact with a variety of students and staff in a school outside of a small cohort; opportunities to gather as school communities for Back to School nights and student assemblies; and the opportunity to reconnect students who were in remote and in person tracks last year, and who have badly missed one another.”
If you’d like to read the full letter, you can do so here.
The latest change in health guidelines announced by Adams 12 Five Schools is one of several from across the Denver metro area.
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