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Cape Girardeau Public School Dist. announces COVID-19 plan for upcoming school year

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Masks will be recommended, but not required, when students return to class in the Cape Girardeau Public School District.

An email sent to parents also laid out plans for social distancing, hand washing and monitoring COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Students who ride the bus will be required to wear a mask during trips.

Dr. Neil Glass said he hoped they would start the new school year without worrying about COVID-19, but since that’s not the case, he said they came up with a re-entry plan for the upcoming school year.

“The main difference that we saw this year is that we’re going to recommend masks instead of mandating masks,” he said. “And basically what that means is that we encourage everybody to have a mask on if they are within six feet of somebody else for a prolonged period of time if not their just recommended.”

The new rules encourage students and staff members to wear a mask if they are within six feet of someone else for a prolonged period of time.

Dr. Glass said they’ve got a safety net in place if they see a significant number of students missing class.

“Students safety is our number one concern, therefore we’ve built in a trigger and basically that trigger is if we fall below 90 percent attendance rate throughout the district that triggers a mask mandate,” he said. “So, we’re going to monitor our data very, very closely to make sure that our absentee rate is not falling below our threshold of 93 percent. "

He’s counting on parents to make the right decisions for their own children.

“If your child’s sick keeps them at home that’s our main safety net,” he explained. “If your child is sick showing symptoms, please keep them home. We’ll send work home, we’ll make sure that you get the proper tutoring and support you need.”

The district’s plan also included free testing and vaccination events for eligible students and staff.

Glass said teachers will work with students to keep a safe distance from others and wash their hands frequently.

The district will also contact families about positive cases directly related to their child.

Cape Girardeau students go back to class August 25.

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