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Back-To-School: Local school districts make decisions on mask-wearing for students, teachers

As many local school districts vote on whether or not to require students to wear masks in class, here’s a list of what many school districts have decided so far.
This list is in alphabetical order and is split up with North Carolina and South Carolina...
This list is in alphabetical order and is split up with North Carolina and South Carolina school districts.(KXII)
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 9:16 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:08 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As many local school districts vote on whether or not to require students to wear masks in class, here’s a list of what many school districts have decided so far.

This list is in alphabetical order and is split up with North Carolina and South Carolina school districts.

Alexander County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Online academy is available, and students are enrolled.
  • Masks are required

Anson County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Masks are required

Ashe County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 16, 2021)

Avery County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 16, 2021)

  • Board of Education voted to make masks optional for students and teachers, but mandatory on buses and for visitors

Burke County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • The Burke County Board of Education voted Monday, Aug. 16 to make face coverings universal indoors for all teachers, staff and students in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. The vote for universal face coverings indoors follows the most recent guidance of the CDC, the StrongSchools NC Toolkit and the NC State Board of Education.
  • The board also voted to give Burke County Public Schools administration the authority to implement universal masking indoors. School administration will also implement mitigation strategies and consult with the Burke County Public Schools Director of Nursing and the Burke County Health Director.
  • Due to a current federal mandate, face coverings also are required on yellow school buses and activity buses.

Cabarrus County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Caldwell County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Catawba County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Masks are mandatory for all staff, students, and visitors while inside facilities and on school buses.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 25, 2021)

Cleveland County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Gaston County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • The Gaston County Board of Education has voted to require face coverings/masks indoors. This requirement is effective immediately through September 20 when the Board has its next meeting and plans to review the decision.

Hickory Public Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Masks are required.
  • Will offer a centralized virtual option for students enrolled in Grades 4-12 for the 2021-22 School Year.

Iredell-Statesville Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Masks are required

Kannapolis City Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Lincoln County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • Beginning Aug. 18, 2021, Lincoln County Schools will temporarily enforce a mask mandate for a minimum of 30 days.
  • This temporary mask mandate does not apply to outdoor activities.
  • This temporary mask mandate is in effect for everyone inside facilities regardless of their vaccination status or COVID-19 recovery exposure status.
  • This temporary mask mandate will result in all visitors to the school being required to follow the temporary mask mandate regardless of their reason for entering the building.
  • Indoor athletics will be impacted during this time frame to require spectators to wear masks and to social distance in the stands. Student athletes sitting on the bench during competition will be required to wear their mask, but students on the court engaged in vigorous activity will be allowed to compete without their mask being worn. This applies to practice times as well. Social distancing will be expected at practices to the extent possible.
  • Per the CDC guidance, masks are mandatory for all staff and students while traveling on a yellow or white bus for school purposes.

Mooresville-Graded School District (First Day of School - Aug. 2, 2021)

Newton-Conover Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

  • The Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education voted 5-1 to give staff and students the option of wearing face coverings when school reopens in the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Face coverings are still required to be worn on school transportation.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 11, 2021)

Stanly County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Union County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 23, 2021)

Watauga County Schools (First Day of School - Aug. 16, 2021)

South Carolina schools in WBTV-viewing area (First Day of School - Aug. 16, 2021)

S.C. health officials release COVID-19 guidance for upcoming school year (NOTE: SC law forbids mask requirements in public schools, although some schools have voted to defy this law)

Chester County Schools

  • The Chester County School Board voted to require masks in schools for students and staff.
  • The district will provide an updated virtual option for those students who meet the minimum requirements. Further information can be obtained at website: https://www.chester.k12.sc.us/Page/3347
  • The district will continue to utilize all safety measures outlined in current CDC and DHEC guidelines. The district will also encourage those who are not vaccinated to continue using masks as an option, in accordance with the latest CDC update.

Chesterfield County Schools

Clover School District

  • Clover Virtual Academy remains open for the 2021-22 year as an option for students.
  • District will operate in a tiered, three-level system.
  • Safety protocols will be in place. Additional safety protocols in each level.

Fort Mill Schools

  • Fort Mill Virtual Academy will be offered for grades 3-12.
  • The Fort Mill School District will install Air Guardian air purification systems in all elementary and middle schools beginning in August.

Lancaster County Schools

  • A remote learning option will not be offered for the 2021-22 school year but will be offered through the SC State Department of Education.
  • District is still following guidance from CDC and SC DHEC.

Rock Hill Schools

  • The district recommends the use of face coverings for students and staff
  • Schools and facilities using signage and floor markings to remind students of social-distancing practices.
  • Schools will incorporate additional handwashing breaks into the school day and reinforce handwashing during key times throughout the school day.
  • Along with their daily cleaning requirements, the custodial team will increase the frequency of disinfecting surfaces, such as high-touch surfaces in common areas and in all classrooms and athletic areas.
  • Rock Hill Schools will follow SCDHEC and CDC recommendations for contact tracing to determine isolation and quarantine criteria for students and staff.
  • At this time, Rock Hill Schools only participates in diagnostic testing for symptomatic students and staff. All schools provide onsite diagnostic testing conducted by the school nurse using BinaxNOW Antigen tests.
  • Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible

York District 1

  • Masks will be required for everyone in schools
  • Desk shields will be removed but will remain available for those that desire to use one
  • Parents and visitors will be welcomed back to the schools; please make arrangements with the school administration
  • Field trips will be allowed
  • Use of the COVID-19 Dashboard to communicate school and district-level COVID-19 positive cases, quarantines, and isolations will continue throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

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