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Board of Education Updates Safety Protocols

Craven County Schools
The Board of Education met in a Special Called meeting last week to discuss the face covering policy. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and limit the need for quarantining, the board approved the implementation of Policy 4231/5021/7263, which requires face coverings to be worn by all students, employees, and visitors present on any school campus in Craven County Schools. Face masks are only one part of a layered mitigation strategy to help keep our students in school. This update is to provide guidance regarding the expectation and recommendations relative to this policy in order to keep our students and staff in our buildings.

Since the board approved the policy, Craven County Schools has been working to develop a list of procedures for all students, staff, and visitors to ensure the policy is being implemented consistently across the district. The following procedures, which are aligned with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12), are effective immediately. These procedures will remain in place as long as masks are mandatory, and we are in high community spread. These procedures apply to all school activities and functions, including school sponsored activities and events occurring both on and off campus.

      • All students ages 2 and older must wear face coverings while attending school or a school function while inside a school building or facility, while participating in an indoor off-campus school sponsored event, and when riding on school buses or other school transportation vehicles. All face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the student. Students must wear face coverings at all times except for the following:

    – the student is actively eating or drinking.
    – the student is participating in a designated mask break.
    – the student is participating in recess outdoors.
    – the student is engaged in strenuous physical activity during PE and able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
    – the student has been approved for a mask exemption.

    • All employees shall wear face coverings while working or attending a school function inside a school building or facility, while participating in an indoor off-campus school sponsored event, and / or when operating a school bus or other school transportation vehicle. All face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the employee. Employees must wear face coverings at all times except for the following:
      – the employee is working in a classroom, office, or other enclosed space and no other person is present.
      – the employee is actively eating or drinking.
      – the employee is participating in a designated mask break.
      – the employee is supervising recess outdoors or another outdoor activity and is away from students.
      – the employee has been approved for a mask exemption.
    • Students in band and chorus must wear appropriate masks while playing/singing.
    • All student athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, managers, and any other associated individuals must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times when riding on an activity bus or other school transportation to an away game or other team event.
    • During any period of a sporting event when a student athlete is not physically active (e.g., sitting on the bench, huddled for a time out, locker rooms, waiting to participate, etc.) the student athlete must wear a face covering over his/her nose and mouth. A face mask is NOT required while the athlete is physically active in the sporting event.
    • Visitors/Volunteers are allowed in buildings but must adhere to established COVID protocols for volunteering. All visitors, except for children under the age of 2, must wear face coverings while present indoors in any school building or facility, while participating in an indoor on or off-campus school sponsored event or at any indoor athletic event. Indoor athletic events require all spectators to wear masks and to socially distance, as much as possible. All face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the visitor.
    • All field trips are allowed to be requested (including overnight) but students must follow the masking policy when participating in the event.
    • School events can be held, but masks are mandatory for all attendees when events are inside any building.

    We thank our families, staff, and community for their support as we take a layered approach to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, so our students and staff are able to safely stay in school.

    By Jennifer Wagner, Director of Public Relations