North Okanagan-Shuswap School District wants higher-grade masks for staff and students

New mask rules for SD83

The superintendent of School District 83 North Okanagan-Shuswap is asking parents to unite for the benefit of the schools and their children when it comes to a new mask mandate.

In a letter, Donna Kriger asked parents to put their differences aside and work together to keep schools open.

Kriger pointed out there have been school closures in the recent months due to COVID concerns.

“What many people within the public will not know or fully understand is the immense stress and anxiety that many of our teaching staff, support staff, principals and vice-principals continue to feel. There is no way that I can articulate my appreciation and admiration for the love, care and concern they have provided to students,” Kriger said.

In an effort to keep the schools open, Kriger said new mask measures will be implemented in SD83 schools.

“Beginning Jan. 4, our district will be working to procure a limited supply of N95 masks for staff. In addition to this, we will be sending 3 ply masks to schools for both staff and students to use in place of their cloth masks. Currently, we are not recommending the use of fabric/cloth masks or gaiters,” said Kriger.

Kriger acknowledged there are a small number of students with exemptions and parents are urged to access an “SD 83 Mask Exemption Status Form from your school’s website. Any parents who have previously declared their children 'exempt' will also need to complete the form so that the accommodation strategies can be established for return to school on Jan. 10, 2022.”

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