On Sunday, July 25, 2021, the MGSD Board of Education held a called board meeting regarding the updated StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit (https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/164/open). The updated toolkit recommends schools require masking in grades K - 8 for all students and staff. In addition, it states schools should require masking for staff and students who are not vaccinated in grades 9 - 12. These requirements are based on various scientific recommendations and reasonings from the CDC to the American Pediatrics Association. Furthermore, masks are still required on school buses.
When making decisions around hot-button topics, the MGSD board focuses on one question: What is best for the children of their district? In this situation, the best answer is to keep kids healthy and in school. That being said, MGSD believes under the new Toolkit, the ability to enforce masking is difficult and could also pose a disruption to learning. Therefore, through close collaboration with an attorney and the Iredell County Health Department, MGSD has established a strong plan to keep our students safe and keep them in school, with minimal disruptions for our staff.
MGSD will start the school year on August 2, with masks being optional (except on school buses). However, as they have done throughout this pandemic, district leadership will be in constant communication with the Iredell County Health Department and studying the data. If at any point the county or the schools meet certain thresholds as recommended by health officials, masking will be required either district wide, school specific, or for an individual classroom, depending on the situation, until the heightened danger passes and/or numbers show a decline. For details of the voted on Proposal 2, please see the attached information from the board meeting: https://docs.google.com/.../1wPz1xHfoiWtRa5KK.../edit....
If a child is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, they can receive a medical exemption from their doctor. Additionally, if a parent has a bona fide religious exemption, MGSD will consider it. Updated exemption forms will be sent out via Bb Connect by Tuesday evening (7/27) with additional information.