NPUSC Mask Policy
NPUSC will be expecting masks to be worn by all students and staff during all in-person instruction situations, including 50% Attendance where social distancing is maximized. Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth. Also, face coverings should not have holes. This decision has been made to do everything possible to keep students and staff as safe as possible while in-person instruction is occurring. This decision has also been made in consultation with local/regional health care professionals and follows both LaPorte and St. Joseph County ordinances on masks in public, along with the Governor’s Executive Order.
Students are encouraged to bring their own mask with them to School. NPUSC will provide a reusable cloth mask for each student. In the event, the student forgets their mask or the one they bring becomes damaged or unsanitary, NPUSC will provide disposable masks.
NPUSC plans to make this expectation a part of our dress code for 2020-2021. However, teachers and administration will be pro-active in handling this expectation. Students will be taught face-covering helps/protects others, talked to individually, and provided masks by the school if needed. Students are highly encouraged to bring their own mask they are comfortable with that meets the guidelines above. Parents will always be contacted if a concern exists or before any discipline is taken. Also, any discipline will be minor in nature, will not happen before other pro-active steps have been exhausted, and will not involve suspensions unless other circumstances such as bullying or extreme disrespect is involved. The virtual option might be a better choice for this school year if following the mask expectation is not something a family can agree to.
NPUSC will be working with students to apply common sense to this expectation, work in reasonable breaks in the classroom at times, and students will not wear masks while eating or exercising. In consultation with medical professionals, we have been advised a good time for a break from a mask in the classroom is when students are working quietly and independently. Masks should be on when engaged in a lesson with their teacher, talking, or moving around the room. Teachers will have also discretion as to how to work in mask breaks. Students at the K-2 level will be worked with even more carefully while implementing this expectation.
**Students may also be eligible for a medical exemption from this expectation with current medical documentation that states the student will not be able to wear a mask due to a condition. The medical documentation must include the following and be presented to the building principal:
- The students specific pre-existing medical condition
- Doctor statement and signature excusing the mask expectation due to the condition
- Duration of time the documentation is valid
Face Shields-these options may be used instead of a face mask. However, it is important to note that to be effective and meet the expectation the shield must curve around the face and extend down to the neck below the chin. Many face shields do not provide this extent of coverage and will allow air droplets to escape into the air. NPUSC may also require a mask to be worn if concern exists that the shield does not provide adequate coverage.