Masks on School Buses no longer required
Effective February 25, 2022, the CDC exercised its enforcement discretion to cancel the requirement that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/childcare programs. The CDC made this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask-wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level.
HSD2 will continue to provide masks on all our buses for students who wish to wear them.
HSD2 Updated Covid-19 Protocols
After reviewing El Paso County Public Health and HSD2’s COVID-19 declining positivity rate, we are now at a point to make changes to our current protocols.
Effective February 14, 2022, the following will occur:
- Masks will no longer be required; however, they will be highly encouraged.
- The district will continue to provide free KN-95 masks to all students and staff.
- Schools can allow outside visitors and guests.
- Schools still must report all positive cases and maintain contact tracing.
- We will continue to promote virtual meetings whenever possible.
- Family/teacher conferences may be conducted in person. However, if a parent or guardian’s schedule does not allow it, we will provide the virtual option.
Even though HSD2 no longer requires masks in school settings, masks are still mandatory on school buses.
Update for Parents & Staff - January 3, 2022
El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) has updated its school guidance to no longer require close contacts (masked or unmasked) to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure at school. A close contact is someone who has been within three feet for more than 15 minutes with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This guidance aligns with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) guidance.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Effective January 4, 2022, HSD2 will no longer require close contacts (masked or unmasked) to quarantine after exposure at school so that our COVID-19 protocols align with CDPHE and EPCPH latest guidance. Household contacts should still quarantine. Isolation is still required for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms after exposure.
El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) updated their guidance to match new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) regarding COVID-19 isolation and quarantine for the general population. The updated guidance shortens the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to five days, if asymptomatic on day five, followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others. The CDC stated that this change is based on science demonstrating that more COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the one to two days before symptom onset and the two to three days after.
With the rise in COVID-19 cases, HSD2 will continue to utilize a mask mandate to keep students and staff safe and in school. We will revisit this practice on Friday, February 4, 2022. Masks will continue to be required on school buses per federal law.
Our goal is to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We realize that the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and reduce quarantines. For a list of places to get the vaccine, please visit El Paso County Public Health and our District website and social media for upcoming mobile vaccine clinics.
Social distancing and handwashing remain important strategies in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Operations staff will continue to conduct frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces. In addition to the KN-95 masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers will continue to be provided to schools and departments.
STAY HOME IF SICK OR EXPOSED AT HOME
We cannot stress enough that sick students and staff should stay home to avoid spreading illness to others. Notify your school or building that you will be home if you are ill.
Mask Mandate - effective September 7, 2021
Over the past week, we reported Sand Creek International as an outbreak and will now report two more schools as outbreaks, Sierra High School and Carmel Community School. Our positivity rate and the number of students and staff who have to quarantine is at .03%, and we are monitoring COVID-19’s impact in our community. Our goal is to safely keep our schools open and keep our students in school. Therefore, we are implementing a mask mandate in order to keep our schools open and reduce the number of students and staff quarantined.
The following mask mandates are effective September 7, 2021:
All students, staff, parents, and visitors will be required to wear a mask indoors in District schools and offices. Masks will also be required for before and after-school childcare, indoor athletic events, extracurricular activities, family nights, and any other school-related activities beyond the regular school day. Masks will not be required outdoors, other than waiting in line at the snack bar or restroom. Masks will continue to be required on school buses per federal law.
Face masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth and be secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or wrapped around the lower face. Neck gaiters are not acceptable as face masks. The District will continue to provide access to masks if your student needs one.
Social distancing and handwashing remain essential strategies in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The District will continue to conduct frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.
As a reminder, students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and do not have an alternate diagnosis should stay home until an alternate diagnosis or negative COVID-19 PCR test results are received.
Our goal is to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We will continue to monitor and evaluate our COVID-19 protocols and adjust based on internal data and recommendations from El Paso County Public Health.
Covid-19 Guidelines - August 2021
We are very excited to have students back in person for the 2021-2022 school year. As you know, many of the COVID-19 protocols have been lifted over the last several weeks. Here is the guidance we are moving forward with:
- Highly encouraging the wearing of masks for unvaccinated students, staff, and families.
- All bus riders and drivers are required to wear a mask while on the bus (federal government mandate).
- Promoting the COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who would like to get vaccinated.
- Ensuring staff and students wash hands for 20 seconds or more.
- Providing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, and face shields for students, visitors, and staff who choose to wear them.
- Requiring sick students and staff to stay home if they are not feeling well unless there is an alternate medical diagnosis.
- If you are not comfortable with the relaxed rules that the state and county have put in place, you may enroll your child in our K-8 online school, Aspire Online Academy. This link will guide you in the registration process.
- If you have any questions regarding Aspire Online Academy, please contact Ms. Talya Young at 719-226-7285.
If your child attends or is going to attend Harrison High School or Sierra High School, both schools have an online option for you to register your child if you are not comfortable with in-person learning at this time. To learn more about this option, please call the registrar at Harrison, 719-579-2354 or Sierra, 719-579-2093.
If you or your child, over the age of 12, has not started the vaccine series and wish to do so, the link below will provide you with information on getting the vaccine.