Indoor Masking Update 2/14/22

Indoor Masking Reminder

Optimal instruction and learning at school sites takes place indoors inside the classroom.  In order for teaching and learning to take place, masks are required to be worn indoors.  We hope the following explains why it is critical we comply with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) mandates regarding masking.

Does indoor masking remain in place, and is it mandatory?

The mask requirement from CDPH has the force of law and currently remains in place. The District may choose how to enforce masking, but has no discretion on whether to enforce.  All students must wear masks at school when indoors, and all staff must wear masks when indoors in the presence of students.  The statewide mask requirement for all persons indoors and in outdoor mass gatherings will end on February 15, 2022.

We are hearing on the news that indoor masking will be lifted in California, does this apply to schools?

The announcement from the state regarding the lifting of masking does not have an impact on the current school requirement at this time. We are closely monitoring developments from CDPH and will let our families know immediately if there are any significant changes.

What are the exceptions for masks?

The mask requirements contain narrow exemptions for medical and instructional reasons, and in those circumstances a face shield with drape or other case specific accommodations may be allowed. Please see our 2021-2022 School Year Safety Plan website area for the medical exemption for facial coverings form. 

What will happen if I send my child to school unmasked without an exemption?

Students who do not wear masks in compliance with the CDPH requirements must be excluded from entry into school.  They may be moved to outdoor classroom environments if available OR parents may be required to pick them up.  Parents may also choose to voluntarily enroll their students in our virtual school (K-8 San Jacinto Technology Institute or Grades 9-12 Mountain Heights Academy).

Doesn’t my child have the right to freedom of speech to protest the masking mandate?

Students may exercise their free speech rights in an appropriate time, place, and manner as outlined by the school and/or district. Claims of civil rights or free speech rights do not override the safety requirement implemented by the CDPH according to the Health and Safety Code and other applicable law.  Students have the right to protest but may not do so in a manner that violates the law, or school safety policies, or otherwise disrupts instruction.  Students do not have the right to boycott classes without consequence. While we respect the students’ right to free speech, its impact has caused a disruption to the school environment as valuable resources are being taken away from teaching and learning in the classroom to ensure student safety outdoors.  Therefore, effective immediately, students boycotting classes will be marked absent without excuse and risk missing instruction for the day.  Students who actively disrupt instruction may be subject to disciplinary action or referral to law enforcement as appropriate.  We celebrate our students’ exercise of their right to voice their concerns about this important issue, but our duty to educate all students comes first.

What should I do if we want to voice opinions about these mandates?

For those of you that wish to share their thoughts and perspectives regarding current health directives, whether positive or negative, we strongly encourage you to contact governing agencies and individuals with the authority to revise said directives: