Leaders announce path to mask optional for Homewood City Schools

(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Homewood City Schools leaders announced a path to mask optional in schools.

Dr. Justin Hefner, HCS Superintendent, sent a letter to parents and guardians Thursday explaining the metrics for determining when and how leaders would decide if facial coverings would be optional.

Homewood City Schools leaders decided in August to mandate masks.

Here is the letter:

Homewood Families,

We have had a wonderful first 9 weeks of school. Our teachers and staff have worked tremendously hard to provide our students with meaningful and rigorous instruction while allowing as many opportunities for our students to participate in more regular and fun school activities.

As we continue to monitor Covid-19, we are thankful to see a decrease in our positive Covid-19 cases among our students, faculty and staff, and within the community. This data has been very encouraging as our students and families have been able to participate in school and community-wide activities, athletics, and events. As a result of these positive trends, our district has revised our protocols to create a quantifiable metric for facial covering requirements.

Facial covering requirements will be determined by reviewing HCS’ weekly Covid-19 cases:

  • When the district’s seven-day percentage of positive cases reaches 1% or below for two consecutive weeks, facial coverings will become optional for students, staff members, and visitors. Facial coverings will be required for students, staff members, and visitors when HCS’ seven-day percentage of positive cases is over 1% for two consecutive weeks.
  • The first week of data will be reviewed and reported on Friday, October 22. The second data point will be Friday, October 29. If both weeks show the district is 1% or below, then facial coverings will be optional beginning Monday, November 1. Any changes in facial covering protocols will be emailed to families and posted on the HCS website on Friday afternoons.

I understand there are different perspectives on facial coverings. It is important that our students see us working together by showing them how we handle our differences by supporting each other’s decisions respectfully and compassionately. Thank you to our students, faculty and staff, and parents for your continued support. I am looking forward to another great 9 weeks of school.

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