Sherwood Park, AB. — On Wednesday, August 18, the EIPS Board of Trustees passed a motion regarding the Division’s masking requirement for students, staff and visitors for 2021-22 school year.
As of Sept. 1, 2021, all students, staff and visitors in kindergarten to Grade 6 divisionwide, except those with medical exemptions, are required to wear a mask. Students, staff and visitors in grades 7-12 aren’t required to wear masks if the full immunization rate in their community is greater than 70 per cent. If the rate of youth immunization, 12-19 years of age, is less than 70 per cent in a community served by EIPS, masking is mandatory for all grades (kindergarten to Grade 12) for staff, students and visitors.
The Board also passed a motion to revisit the decision on or before Jan. 20, 2022.
While not all families support the continued mask mandate, the Board had to weigh the risks for students, staff and family members, and consider how many students are either ineligible for the vaccine or are not vaccinated in the communities in which the Division operates.
Masks will provide an extra level of protection as the Division re-introduces field trips, allows volunteers back into the school and holds events that are so important to the educational experience for students. When combined with the numerous other measures in place—including hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, daily health screening, staying home when sick, mandatory masking on buses, enhanced cleaning and ventilation best practices—masks will help lower the infection rate while the province continues striving for a greater overall level of immunity.
Elk Island Public Schools wants to ensure the return to school is as safe as possible for all students and staff and looks forward to welcoming students back to in-person classes on September 1.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902