ST. CLOUD -- Face-coverings will be required in all St. Cloud schools, buses, and district buildings this fall.

At last Wednesday night’s meeting, the school board unanimously approved a mask policy following the current statewide mandate. Under the policy, face coverings will be required inside as well as outside when six feet of social distancing is not possible.

Masks will not be required for staff members alone in their office or in shared offices when separated by plexiglass. Students will not need to wear masks while eating, singing or playing an instrument, or participating in sports or physical education that is strenuous.

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Marsha Baisch says only certain types of face coverings will be accepted.

The face-covering must be worn to cover the nose and the mouth completely and should not be overly restrictive. Per the recommendation of administration and in consultation with board development members we are removing neck gaiter and bandana from the definition.

According to the policy, disposable masks, cloth masks, scarves, religious face coverings, and medical-grade respirators will all be accepted. Any design on the masks must also meet school dress code requirements. Personal protective equipment will be provided to students and staff, and face shields can be used as an alternative to masks as necessary.

Exceptions to the policy include kids under the age of two and staff, students, and visitors who are unable to wear a mask due to a health or behavioral condition. Staff members and students could face disciplinary action, termination, removal from school buildings, or alternate learning models if they are in violation.

The temporary policy will expire when executive orders 20-81 or 20-82 or other state or local mandates expire with no further action needed by the board.

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