UPDATE: A four-week mask mandate was put in place on August 6. It is set to begin on August 9.
FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Students and faculty at Fort Payne City Schools will not be required to wear a mask when returning to classes this fall.
According to the school system’s “path to reopening” guide for the 2021-22 school year, wearing a mask will be based on personal preference, rather than mandated. Students riding a bus will also not be required to wear a mask or face covering.
“Fort Payne City Schools is committed to providing high-quality instruction, a safe/clean learning environment, and mental health support for all students and staff,” said Superintendent Brian Jett. “We are looking forward to the start of the 2021-22 school year and are working diligently to create a plan that supports our reopening.”
The plan states the goal of the school year is to have 100% face-to-face school instruction, though individual cases for virtual learning will be considered for grades 6-12.
“We know that we cannot anticipate every challenge or obstacle that might present itself but be assured that we are making every effort to address a safe start and daily routine for the school setting,” Jett continued.
Students and employees who exhibit the classic symptoms of COVID-19 will be prohibited from coming to school, and will not be allowed to return until they have completely recovered based on guidelines provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). Staff and students exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home and monitor their health.
If a student or staff member is found to have COVID-19, custodial staff will properly disinfect the affected area. Common areas like water fountains will be cleaned throughout each day.
Fort Payne students will begin classes on August 10. View the full plan for reopening this fall here.