Governor Gianforte lifted the mask mandate, effective today, throughout Montana. This mandate also allows schools to change the policy regarding the use of masks and face coverings or maintain the current protocol.
Forsyth Schools will continue with the language of its Reopening Plan adopted in August before the start of school. This means masks and face coverings will be mandatory for students, staff and visitors on Forsyth School properties. Social distancing in classrooms and lunch areas will also remain in place.
These conditions will continue until the March 9th Board meeting and then be reviewed. The review will be based on how Covid-19 cases has either increased or decreased in the month it was enforced.
Here are the reasons to continue with the use of masks/face coverings in school:
- Attendance this year for both staff and student has been much higher than in the past years—the major factor is the wearing of masks as well as the increased cleaning/sanitation of buildings.
- With the district opening up facilities for traveling sports teams and the students competing in outside tournaments, masks at school would help mitigate contamination brought back in.
- Next week is the beginning of the post-season for high school winter athletics. This means fans will travel to sites where masks may not be required…which also means there is a higher chance of these individuals bringing back Covid 19 to our community. The post season runs until March 13th(State Basketball). The MHSA is considering to continue to make masks mandatory for teams participating.
- It just makes sense to continue to keep our students, staff and district employees safe until we see what the effects of the Governor’s mask mandate will have on everyone.
Although, this may be disappointing, Forsyth Schools will continue to keep the safety of the students, staff and employees a priority. If our students are in school daily learning among their peers and teachers, it means we are doing what is best for them.
We are one of a very few schools who have not missed a single day of school since the start of the school year. I would truly like to keep it that way for the remainder of the year.
Please assist me in achieving this goal for you and your children.
Dinny Bennett, Superintendent