Dear LMSD Families,
On Thursday, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) revised its guidance for COVID-19 mitigation in schools, to align with guidance issued by the CDC earlier this week. In accordance with this new guidance, all LMSD students, staff, and pre-approved visitors in LMSD school buildings will be required to wear face masks in school beginning Monday, August 2, 2021. Masks will continue to be required on LMSD buses as well. The Health and Safety Committee will continue to consult with MCOPH and will work to develop opportunities for safe mask breaks within the summer programs and within the new guidance.
I know that many of us hoped that masks would no longer be needed in schools, but the rise in prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and the fact that students under age 12 are unable to be vaccinated, make it advisable to return to masking as a mitigation effort in our schools. Having students masked will also limit the number of students who must quarantine and miss school, should they be identified as a close contact of an infected individual. Taking this step will enable us to continue as safely as possible toward our primary goal of offering in-person education going forward.
Under LMSD's Board-approved Health and Safety Plan, a "Face Mask" means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps or loops over the ears. A cloth face mask, surgical style face mask KN95 mask or N95 mask are all acceptable options. Valved face masks or gaiters are not permitted. (Students may have an exemption from wearing a face mask due to medical conditions or disabilities as documented in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that precludes the wearing of a facemask. Eligibility and accommodations for a disability will be made in partnership with the student's health care provider, the school nurse and the IEP or 504 team. Asthma and most other medical conditions are not a contraindication to the use of a face mask).
Please continue to report any identified student cases of COVID-19 to our COVID-19 Healthline by calling 610-645-1973. In addition, if your child was vaccinated outside of an LMSD vaccine clinic, please send proof of vaccination to email@example.com. While you are not required to disclose vaccination status, having this information will assist our Health Services nurses with planning and contact-tracing for the upcoming school year.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and flexibility to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.