The Alabama Mask Mandate is set to expire on April 9, 2021. However, all Choctaw County Public School System employees and students will be required to wear a mask while at work or school. Governor Kay Ivey has indicated that she will not extend Alabama’s Mask Mandate past April 9, 2021. She is, however, encouraging people to continue wearing masks. She has stated that “masks remain one of the most successful tools we have to keep folks safe from COVID-19.” The CDC still recommends that individuals, whether vaccinated or not, wear masks to prevent the virus’s spread. We need to keep encouraging frequent handwashing, continuous cleaning, and proper social distancing. While this is a difficult decision to make, I take my job very serious when it comes to the safety and protection of our students, faculty, and staff members. Therefore, Choctaw County Public Schools will require all employees and students to wear masks while at school, work, or attending school-sponsored functions or events.
Read Choctaw County Board of Education 2021-2022 Re-Opening of Schools In-person Learning Plan.
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CHOCTAW COUNTY VIRTUAL SCHOOL
We have developed, and continue to revise, our safe return to in-person instruction for the upcoming school year. We recognize that students have missed a year of learning due to the pandemic and we want to give them the best chance for success; so, we will reopen 100% face to face for all students. We will not have the virtual option at this time. It is important to understand that the plan set forth by the Choctaw County School District for 2021-2022 could change if Pandemic numbers were to return to levels considered a concern as established by the Alabama Department of Education, or Health Officials.
The District will use guidance from the Alabama Department of Health, the CDC, and local health officials to determine the safest protocol for students and staff. While we strive to return to normal operations, many successes implemented during the pandemic will remain in place. We will continue to use social distancing. We will continue to check temperatures upon entry to the school. We are working to install an updated ventilation system to purify the air quality in all buildings.
School will start on August 10th for all students in a traditional in-person learning model. Back-to-school orientation will be provided to all students the first week of school to ensure they understand how to keep themselves and others safe. MASKS are Encouraged, but not required. Vaccinations are the choice of the parents and are not required for entry to school.
The safety and welfare of our students, teachers, and faculty is at the forefront of all of our decisions. We have been monitoring the data and trends of COVID-19 in our communities, and on October 14, 2021, The Choctaw County Board of Education met and decided to lift the mask mandate effective 11/1/2021. This decision was made due to the decrease in the number of positive cases in Choctaw County, and the downward trend that has lasted for several weeks.
As of November 1, 2021, masks will no longer be required, but it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that faculty, staff, and students continue to wear masks. If the positive COVID-19 numbers for Choctaw County increase, we will reinstate the mandatory mask policy. Thank you for your help in protecting our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to monitor conditions, and make the best decisions for our students.
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