Dear Catawba County Schools families,
After considerable deliberation and input from the public, the Catawba County Board of Education voted this evening to make face coverings optional for all staff, students, and visitors on Catawba County Schools campuses, except on yellow buses and activity buses (due to a current federal mandate) and except as required by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, which has yet to announce its face-covering requirements.
Additionally, the board directed the administration to a) implement all possible mitigation strategies other than face coverings to the greatest extent possible while serving all students with in-person learning and b) stay in regular communication with the local health department to monitor transmission rates in the schools and county. The board specifically reserved the right, however, to require face coverings in the future if it is determined that face coverings are necessary to keep schools open.
After hearing from multiple community members during the public hearing session, Dan Moore, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, presented the NC Department of Health and Human Services' updated guidance from the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit that Governor Cooper released last week. Previous state guidance "required" face coverings indoors and other required procedures. The new guidance lists strategies that "should" be implemented by all schools.
We wanted to get this information out to you as quickly as possible this evening. Please be on the lookout for more details about the upcoming school year and the strategies we will continue to take to ensure our staff and students remain healthy. Thank you for your continued partnership and understanding as we move forward into an exciting new school year.