Mask Safety

The Douglas Public School District is committed to providing a safe environment as schools reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to public health experts, one of the best ways to stop the spread of coronavirus and to keep members of our school community safe is the use of face masks. Therefore, in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the following requirements are in place until further notice.

A face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn by all individuals in school buildings, on school grounds, at all school sponsored events, and on school transportation. This applies to all faculty, staff, visitors, and students in grades K-12. The use of gators is not permitted in that it does not safely protect individuals at the same level as masks.

Individuals may be exempted from this protocol if they fall under the following list of reasons, per CDC guidance:
The individual:
has trouble breathing;
is unconscious;
is incapacitated;
cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.

In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical, behavioral or other challenge making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering. A written note from a physician is required for a requested exemption. Parents may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver.

Additionally, face masks or face coverings will not be required when appropriate social distancing is enforced:
during mask breaks;
while eating or drinking;
during physical education classes;
during MIAA sanctioned practices and games when guidelines are adhered to (this varies from sport to sport and season to season);

Exceptions to this protocol under certain circumstances, such as for students with medical, behavioral or other challenges who are unable to wear masks, must be approved by the building principal in consultation with the school nurse or local Board of Health. Face shields or physical barriers may provide an alternative in some instances.

A student’s mask or face covering is to be provided by the student’s family. However, the district will supply disposable face covering for individuals who arrive at a building, or board school transportation, without one.

If students are in violation of this protocol, the building principal will consult with the parent/guardians to determine whether an exception is appropriate, or the student may be removed from the school building for in-person learning until such time as they can comply with the requirement or the requirement is lifted.
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