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Mask Mandate Update - Aug. 20, 2021

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August 20, 2021

MUSD Families and Staff,

This afternoon the Marana Unified School District Governing Board convened a Special Meeting in order to consider a decision regarding the required use of face coverings in our schools. During this meeting, the MUSD Governing Board voted 3 to 2 that beginning on Monday, August 23, the Marana Unified School District will require all students, staff, volunteers and visitors to wear face coverings while indoors regardless of vaccination status. This requirement will be in place until the state law that bans mask mandates goes into effect on September 29, 2021. Please note, face coverings are not required while outdoors as well as in cases in which a medical or religious exemption exists. Additionally, there are specific instructional situations that will allow for an alternative to face coverings to utilized (e.g. speech services, small reading groups). A form will be available early next week.

I am fully aware that not everyone is pleased with this decision. I certainly understand the emotions that are involved as this issue has proven to be a divisive one in Arizona and across the nation. While we certainly value the many differing viewpoints in our community, I am hopeful that we can come together and rally around a common goal of keeping our schools open for our students.

I can tell you that this decision has weighed heavily on all involved. It aligns with our commitment to creating a safe environment for teaching and learning as well as recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), the Arizona Department of Health and Safety (AZDHS), and the Pima County Health Department (PCHD).

Requiring face coverings, practicing physical distancing and good hygiene, cleaning high-touch points and staying home when sick were critical mitigation strategies that were effective last year. The number of current positive cases and the number of students currently at home due to quarantine or necessary exclusion has created tremendous concern. I am hopeful that the added layered mitigation strategy of using face coverings will help slow the current spread that we are experiencing.

Along with these changes, I am again asking for your assistance. Please continue to talk with your student about our mitigation strategies. Additionally, we count on your excellent communication and teamwork between our schools, teachers and your home.

I am hopeful that you can appreciate the difficult position that schools have been placed in this year. The delta variant continues to circulate broadly and vaccination eligibility for students is still restricted to those age 12 and older. While we are charged with balancing these factors, I am confident that with your understanding and support we can accomplish our goal of keeping our schools open.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dan Streeter, Ed. D.

Marana Unified School District Superintendent