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TSD Mask Information Update

Posted on: December 14, 2021


TSD- Information Regarding Masks: December 14, 2021


At the December 13, 2021 Talawanda Board of Education meeting, it was decided to strongly recommend masks starting on Monday, January 10, 2021.  The Talawanda Board of Education also provided the Superintendent with the authority to monitor the COVID19 situation and implement short term measures such as reinstituting mask wearing, closing down a class, grade level, or building due to transmission, and to follow the contagion plan already in place.


The Superintendent recommended the new mask protocol to be implemented on Monday, January 10, 2022,  This will give individuals who wish to be vaccinated additional time to become fully vaccinated or receive Booster vaccines.  Talawanda High School will host a second vaccine clinic on Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 10 AM to 1 PM.  Walk in vaccinations will be accepted from Noon until 12:30 PM.


The Talawanda Board of Education and Superintendent still strongly recommend the wearing of masks especially for those individuals who are not vaccinated.


Any student or staff who chooses to wear a mask shall not be made fun of, harassed, or treated unkindly.  Please contact the school principal or teacher immediately if this negativity ensues.


The Superintendent will monitor COVID19 transmission, work with Butler County Health Department, and follow CDC, ODH, legislator, and BCHD orders and recommendations.  If there is a 20% or higher absentee rate due to flu, COVID19, or other contagion, the Superintendent may implement additional measures such as mandated mask wearing, closing a class, grade level, building, or district for a specified period of time, or take other measures to stop the spread of the disease.  We may need to take preemptive steps if we see the percentage rate growing towards the 20% mark.


Due to the new change and guidance, the radius for contact tracing moves from 3 feet to 6 feet in direct contact issues.  Students and staff who are a direct contact, are within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, and do not have symptoms may be provided with the option to continue coming to school WEARING a mask at all times or follow the quarantine orders (stay out of school) for the entire order.  Students and staff may have the option on day 5, 6, or 7 to test (proctored test or one conducted by a physician/clinic) negative may possibly return on day 8.


Remember, we cannot ask individuals if an individual is vaccinated.  However, if an individual shares he or she is vaccinated, we will share this information with BCHD.  This may make a difference in the quarantining or not quarantining of the individual.  Masks may be required to attend school in this case.


We will still accept alternative diagnosis from a physician or clinic.  However, the alternative diagnosis must be up to date.  We will share that information with BCHD who will make the final decisions.


If a student or staff member is required to wear a mask in order to return to school, the mask must be worn properly (nose and mouth covered) at all times.  Violation to the proper wearing of masks will result in the quarantining orders to be implemented where the student or staff would be required to stay home and not attend in person school.


If a student or staff member is ill and/or has COVID19 symptoms and/or has tested positive for COVID19, the individual needs to stay home AND communicate with the school nurse or principal regarding when the individual may return back to school.  Our staff will work with and follow BCHD orders.  


The federal bus mask mandate IS STILL IN PLACE.  Students who ride the buses (to/from school, activities, field trips, athletics, etc.), MUST still wear masks.  The federal bus mask mandate is in place until March 2022.  We will keep you informed if this changes.


We WANT to stay open to in person learning.  We WANT to stop the spread of COVID19.  We WANT to ensure all students and staff are safe and healthy.  It will take our community, as a team, to work together.  It is better to keep a person home for a day until a decision is reached as opposed to possibly spreading the virus to others.


We may change these procedures and protocols at any time.  If we change these conditions, we will let you know.  


BCHD orders and decisions are the final decision.  Only the health departments have the authority to quarantine or isolate as well as treat individuals differently. 


Again, we strongly recommend that all wear a mask.  With the change in these protocols, we are asking you to keep our schools open to in person learning and keep all safe.  


This change will be cheered by some and jeered by others.  We have individuals who are scared on both sides of the aisle.  We need empathy, compassion, and adherence to our new protocols.  Let’s not have a need for short term mask mandates or the return to a long term mask mandate.


If you have any questions, contact your school nurse or building principal.


In Education,


Dr. Edward Theroux


Dr. Edward Theroux

Talawanda Superintendent