ByWTOC Staff | Published:Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Bryan County Schools will require students and staff to wear masks beginning Thursday, August 19, according to an email sent by district Superintendent Paul Brooksher.
The mask mandate will be in effect for the first nine weeks of school, ending Friday, October 8. Bryan County Schools will reevaluate the mandate at that time.
You can read the full statement from Brooksher below:
I want to thank each of you for your support and patience as we once again navigate an unprecedented event in public education. I want to begin this email by personally thanking all parents that are considered front line workers. You have worked tirelessly through this pandemic to support our families and loved ones with a display of unselfishness that is second to none. With that being said, I need everyone to recognize and remember, educating children during these times is one of the most demanding experiences to ever be dealt with in the history of public education. The 1,400 employees in Bryan County Schools take on this challenge every day with a smile and positive energy that is unmatched in the State of Georgia. So, please remember to hug and thank that nurse, doctor, teacher, and support staff that are using their talents to take care of future generations in their own unique way during extreme times.
I shared with you early on Bryan County Schools would take a layering approach as it addressed COVID this school year. We continue to evaluate our COVID data daily and, at this point, deem it necessary to put additional measures into place. For this reason, beginning this Thursday, all students and staff will be required to wear masks. This mask mandate will remain in effect until the end of the first nine weeks, October 8th. At that point, we will assess the impacts of all our mitigating strategies and make changes as needed. It is our strong desire the addition of mandated masks and other applicable mitigation efforts will assist us in flattening the COVID curve. Our goal is to stay open as a school system and provide the best possible education to every student no matter their background or where they come from.
Currently, we have been given guidance that we should quarantine all students that meet the definition of close contact exposure within six feet. If all students and staff are masked, this guidance changes and recommends only quarantining students that have close contact exposure within three feet. Considering this change, masks should hopefully have a positive impact on possible exposure and we should experience a decline in the number of students that have to be quarantined.
In addition to our current mitigating strategies, please know we are also planning for worst case scenario which could include a transition from face-to-face instruction to e-Learning. The COVD-19 guidelines for Bryan County Schools will be updated and sent to parents tomorrow afternoon.
The partnership between school and home has never been more important or valuable and the Bryan County Board of Education and I appreciate your continued support.
Thank you for what you do to stop the spread in our community and schools.
Paul T. Brooksher, Ph.D.
Bryan County Schools
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