The school has announced plans to start the year utilizing in-person instruction.
The first day for students is August 18. As there are currently no health directives or legal requirements to wear a mask, the school is keeping an optional-but-encouraged mask policy. Situations the school – and many health professionals – “highly recommend” wearing a mask are: while utilizing school transportation, during passing times, in the lunch line, in classrooms and any other time social distancing can’t be maintained.
Masks can make a major difference in quarantining requirements. If masks are worn, and a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, the rest of the classroom subsequently quarantined wouldn’t necessarily be required. If masks are not utilized, however, and a student or staff member tests positive, all individuals in close contact would have to quarantine for 14 days.
In a letter to the High Plains Public School community, Superintendent Brian Tonniges states: “No matter our overall views of COVID-19 and issues related to it, it is important we all respect one another and not lose civility and calm, rational thinking.”