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District will work with state’s new guidance on masks
Ballard County Schools has received new guidance in the state’s “Healthy at School” document concerning mask wearing by students and staff. The district reopening plan, which had been approved by the Purchase District Health Department, was being used when schools opened for in-person students on Aug. 31. The state’s document, which was last updated in June, changed requirements on the evening of that first day of Ballard County classes.
The state now will require the use of cloth face masks by all students and staff at all times while in the building or on the bus, regardless of the ability to socially distance, unless they are actively eating or drinking, or are medically waivered. Students/staff who are outdoors and able to maintain a 6-foot distance from each other still are not required to wear a mask.
The revised “Healthy at School” document may be found here: https://education.ky.gov/comm/Documents/Safety%20Expectations_FINAL%20DOC.pdf
“We worked hard to make sure our opening plan aligned with the standards in ‘Healthy at School,’ and it did, prior to the state’s Aug. 31 revision,” said Dr. Casey Allen, superintendent of Ballard County Schools. “We remain committed to the best possible in-person learning experience for our students.”
Overall, as of Thursday, the district had seen a return of 70 percent of total students to in-person classes. Teachers had made sure that most of the rooms in the elementary and middle schools – and many in the high school – already were set up so students could be 6 feet apart and not wear masks unless someone was moving around the room, per the earlier guidance.
“The hardest thing will be masking classes that weren’t masked before,” Allen said, “but students are resilient. Each school is working on a revised plan now – some will incorporate more work outdoors, or water breaks during class sessions.” He urged parents to look for specific plans to be communicated from their students’ individual schools.
 “The district wants to ensure consistency and compliance,” Dr. Allen continued. “So please be patient as we navigate these new changes from the state. We want what is best for our kids, just like you do, and we appreciate all of our families, students, and staff working with us.” 
New plans will be fully implemented beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. “Our earlier plans worked with the guidance, right up until they made this change on our first day of in-person classes,” he continued. “We will figure it out again.”
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