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Akron Public Schools require masks for all students, staff to start school year

(Source: Akron Public Schools)
(Source: Akron Public Schools)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Akron Public Schools will require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks inside school facilities and buses to start the 2021-2022 school year, according to the guidelines released on Monday.

The guidelines also stated the masks could be removed while outside, no uniforms will be required, and class sizes will be reduced to accommodate for social distancing.

APS said the guidelines will be reevaluated each month based on the American Academy of Pediatrics, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, and consultation with local public health officials.

Below is the APS Plan for Health and Safety:

  • Reduce our average class size to 24 or fewer at the elementary schools to enhance supports and personalized practice to the maximum extent possible.
  • Maintain a relaxed/no uniform practice in support of students, parents, and caregivers throughout the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Continue to follow all sanitation and safety requirements of the Summit County Public Health within our food service program. The majority of foods provided will be individually packaged, single-serve items. Self-service by students will be limited.
  • Continue making meals available for APS Online
  • Reevaluate guidelines monthly.
  • Require all students, staff, and approved visitors to wear masks inside school facilities where service is provided to students.
  • Require all students and staff to wear masks on school buses and vans for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. METRO also requires masks to be worn.
  • Allow for the removal of masks when outside.
  • Continue to encourage parents and caregivers to monitor the health of their students and the health of those that come into contact with their students on a daily basis. When in doubt, families should consult the school and refrain from sending an ill child to school.
  • Ensure health and safety routines are communicated to staff: frequent handwashing, mask breaks, use of outdoor space, social distance (generally three feet), traffic patterns within buildings, regular sanitation and deep cleaning practice, single-service water service, etc.
  • Continue to engage staff, parents, and caregivers by providing opportunities to provide feedback and input through surveys, focus groups, and utilizing the engagementstaff@apslearns.org email line.
  • Continue all athletics programs while operating, monitoring, and managing them following COVID requirements and guidelines related to skills training, practices, and games/competitions.
  • Continue to conduct COVID testing for athletes and staff in sporting programs that result in direct contact (i.e. wrestling, basketball, etc.).
  • Continue making vaccination clinics available, in collaboration with Summit County Public Health, Akron Children’s Hospital, and other area providers willing to assist to vaccinate the suggested and approved categories of APS student and staff groups.
  • Limit visitors in school buildings to family members and official program partners with the expectation that they wear masks, stay in designated areas as requested, and follow all other safety guidelines.

[ Click here to see the COVID-19 Planning & Preparation guidelines ]

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