•   student at whiteboard wearing a mask   very young child wearing a mask   Student on school lawn wearing a mask

     

    OCS’ Expectations about Face Coverings:

    Official Term: Cloth mask/face covering 

    Definition: A cloth mask/face covering must fit over the nose and mouth, be secured under the chin, fit snugly against the sides of the face, and be secured with loops or ties to the sides of the face.

     

    A “Return-to-Learn” Requirement:

    In order to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, ALL students, parents/guardians, staff, and visitors must wear a cloth mask/face covering while in campus buildings and on campus grounds.  A cloth mask/face covering must fit over the nose and mouth, be secured under the chin, fit snugly against the sides of the face, and be secured with loops or ties to the sides of the face.   In addition, students and staff must wear a cloth mask/face covering while on buses or on district transportation vehicles that transport more than one person.   

     

    What to Know:

    • A cloth mask/face covering may not protect the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus and germs to others.
    • In an encounter of two people, if a cloth face covering/mask is worn by both, then the likelihood of spreading the infection is further reduced.
    • The preferred face covering is a cloth face mask (multi-layer).  
    • Per the CDC, when selecting or sewing a cloth mask/face covering, make sure it is made of two layers of tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch.  As with any fabric, it is less protective if it becomes wet.  Make sure to wear a cloth mask/face covering that is cleaned often and is dry upon placing it over the nose and mouth.  You may launder cloth face coverings using hot water and soap.  The mask may be dried at high heat or it may be air dried.
    • It is recommended that cloth masks/face coverings either be freshly washed daily or rotated in a 3-day cycle. 
    • A minimum of five reusable cloth masks/face coverings will be provided to all students and staff upon return to in-person learning. Disposable ones (adult through pediatric sizes) will also be available at the front office for those students or visitors who may need them.
    • It is recommended that staff provide their own cloth masks/face coverings to ensure proper fit.

     


     

    adult placing a mask on a child

     

    Exceptions for Wearing a Cloth Mask/Face Covering

    As a general rule, however, cloth mask/face coverings are REQUIRED; and exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis with appropriate staff (i.e., the EC facilitator, school nurse, or principal) for those not wearing a mask.  Considerations include learning needs, safety, and any potential alternatives.  Students with exceptions should be noted in the PowerSchool medical alert. In this case, 100% Remote Learning (OCS Virtual Academy) may be recommended for the safety of the child. 

    In addition, cloth masks/face coverings should not be required for individuals who:

    • Cannot tolerate a face covering due to any medical, behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance)

    Parents/guardians should contact their school nurse if they have concerns that their child cannot wear a face mask.  

    Staff should consult with Human Resources.  Individual circumstances will be taken into consideration along with applying the most stringent public health prevention measure possible.  Safety is our highest priority; this is for the students’ safety, the staff member and for the safety of those around them.

     


     

    Older students wearing masks and social distancing in a line

     

    ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS

    DURING THE SCHOOL DAY: 

     

    • Students and staff must wear cloth masks/face coverings inside and outside unless eating, taking a physically distanced mask break or if they are alone in an office/classroom, or not within six feet of another person outside.
    • “Mask break” options will take place outside and/or when 6 feet separation from others can be assured.
    • Cloth masks/face coverings shall be stored in a manner to protect from contamination after being taken off.
    • Students and staff will be provided with a break away lanyard and water resistant, zippered pouch to safely store them while taking a “mask break,” and while eating or drinking.
    • Students and staff should have an extra, clean cloth mask/face coverings in a zip-lock sealed bag available on campus.

     

    Please note that bandanas, tie-on fabrics, other coverings with gaps or those that are thinly layered are not allowable alternatives as they do not meet the CDC guidelines for a face covering. 

     


     

    RESOURCES

     

    TIPS FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS:

    **Go ahead and practice with your child how to get accustomed to and how to properly wear a cloth mask/face covering.

     

    Upon return, all students and staff will be taught/trained on best practices for:

     

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CARE/CLEANING OF CLOTH MASKS/FACE COVERINGS:

    • Per the CDC, when selecting or sewing a cloth mask/face covering, make sure it is made of two layers of tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch.  As with any fabric, it is less protective if it becomes wet.  Make sure to wear a cloth mask/face covering that is cleaned often and is dry upon placing it over the nose and mouth.  You may launder them using hot water and soap.  They may be dried at high heat or air dried.
    • It is recommended that cloth masks/face coverings either be freshly washed daily or rotated in a 3-day cycle. 
    • A minimum of five reusable cloth masks/face coverings will be provided to all students and staff upon return to in-person learning. Disposable masks/face coverings (adult through pediatric sizes) will also be available at the front office for those students or visitors who may need them.
    • It is recommended that staff provide their own cloth masks/face coverings to ensure proper fit.

     

    SEE ALSO FROM THE CDC’S WEBSITE:

    How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

     

    SEE ALSO FROM THE NCDHHS WEBSITE:

    Adjusting the Fit of Cloth Face Coverings