Hastings Public Schools to require masks for Pre K-6 students, teachers and staff

Hastings Public Schools will require masks for all elementary schools starting Monday, August 23.
Hastings Public Schools will require masks for all elementary schools starting Monday, August 23.(KSNB)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 8:01 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Effective Monday, August 23, masks will be required inside all Hastings elementary schools as well as sixth grade classrooms within Hastings Public Schools. The requirement will be for all indoor activities where students are not able to be six feet apart, as well as in school buses.

Exclusions to the requirement will be any meal time or when students or staff are outdoors. Masks will also be required of visitors to HPS facilities if they are in a room with students that fit the requirement. The policy encompasses all elementary schools within the district, but also will include 6th grade classrooms as Hastings Middle School. HPS Superintendent Jeff Schneider says the mask policy will not be in effect for 7th or 8th grade students or staff because everyone involved meets the threshold to be vaccinated. Schneider also said the policy will be in place for four weeks starting Monday, August 23, with the district planning to re-evaluate the decision on September 17.

“After much consideration and monitoring of the increase in cases in our community, we have made the decision to require masks for Pre-K through 6th grade students and the staff members they work with. The requirement goes into effect on Monday, August 23rd. Students in grades 7-12 will not be required to wear a mask, but we recommend they do so. The requirement will be re-evaluated no later than September 17th.”

HPS Superintendent Jeff Schneider

HPS officials made the decision based on recent health information provided by the South Heartland District Health Department. There are currently 118 positive cases per 100,000, which is considered in the “high” positivity range.

There have also been three HPS students who have tested positive since the start of the school year including one HPS staff member. Several students have also been exposed to positive cases.

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