Fayetteville School Board approves mask, screening policies

The Fayetteville Board of Education on Thursday voted unanimously to approve two new policies related to COVID-19.

Officials adopted new rules related to masks and face coverings at school and also agreed to implement screening questions and temperature checks of all students and employees as required by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Text of the new policies are as follows:

Policy 1.19: Wearing Masks and Face Coverings requires the wearing of a face mask or face covering while attending school, attending a school function, or riding school-provided transportation. The policy provides for exceptions, such as for eating or drinking, when social distancing measures are in place, and in specific instructional needs as determined by the teacher.

Policy 1.20 COVID-19 Screenings provides for the implementation of appropriate screenings for all students and employees of Fayetteville Public Schools in compliance with the official screening questions and temperature-detecting requirements issued by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Board president Nika Waitsman said the school board fully supports the new policies.

“We believe these measures will be effective in helping protect our Fayetteville Public Schools family, particularly those in vulnerable situations,” Waitsman said.

Superintendent John Colbert concurred.

“In this continuing worldwide fight to stop the spread of COVID-19, we must do our part to protect the health of our students and staff,” Colbert said. “The research proves that masks work in slowing the spread of the virus, and screening and early detection will help identify and isolate those who might be contagious.”