Blue Valley North prematurely lifting mask requirement

Jan 21, 2022

Good afternoon,

Dr. Ostroski at Blue Valley North has communicated that the building is returning to masks-optional policy on Monday, January 24th. Per the language of the board’s policy from January 10:

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 we will now look at two metrics when determining masking requirements for students and staff in grades 9-12 and the 18-21 Program. Masking will be required for at least two weeks when the total percentage of students positive or identified for quarantine by the JCDHE exceeds 3% OR student absenteeism for illness exceeds 7% in any individual school building.

From the data published on the district’s dashboard, Blue Valley North still exceeded these thresholds this Tuesday, January 18th. Per the stated policy, the earliest date on which masks should be returned to optional is two weeks from January 18th, or February 2nd. The language of your order does not say that absentee data testing is a singular event; it says that “masking will be required for at least two weeks when the total percentage…exceeds thresholds.” It exceeded thresholds on the 18th, which should obviously reset the two week countdown.

An immediate response to the impacted community is required, if not to correct the premature change in rule then at least to explain how the district is interpreting the above language. If you intended a different outcome, then the minimum action required is for the board to convene and modify your order. If the district isn’t able to abide by its own guidelines, and the community acts in ways to intentionally subvert policies they dislike, then what is the point of any of this?

I’m not asking you to change your opinion about what should be done. I’m asking that you follow your stated policies, and that if you intend to ignore them that you modify those policies in the open so the community understands what to expect.

Jason Anderson

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