The Board of Education for Scottsbluff Public Schools has cancelled a special meeting that had been called for Wednesday evening to consider changes to the District’s masking protocols.
According to a statement released by District officials, the decision to drop the meeting was made after reviewing the information provided by District staff, local health officials, and from the public during the regular September meeting, as well as during direct contact with individual board members.
The statement goes on to say while not considering changes to the Safe Return to School Plan at this time, they will continue to use the current threshold system in all grades to enact masking based upon confirmed positive cases at individual schools.
The Board is thanking those who provided input, saying “We are proud to serve a school district whose stakeholders share our priority of creating a safe, healthy, and positive educational environment for all students and are able to provide thoughtful and respectful dialog as we face challenging and sometimes polarizing decisions.”
The Board and the District will continue to focus on layering strategies of prevention to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in our schools. Examples of these strategies include:
- Recommending masking for all staff, students, and visitors.
- Asking parents to screen children daily at home for possible symptoms of COVID-19.
- Encouraging students and staff to stay home if experiencing symptoms.
- Practicing enhanced cleaning protocols that include disinfecting high-touch areas multiple times daily and nightly disinfecting of classrooms.
- Encouraging all eligible staff and students to get vaccinated.
- Increasing ventilation by focusing on filtration and fresh air practices.
- Emphasizing the importance of hand washing.
The continued success of the SBPS threshold model will be contingent upon everyone committing to these layered strategies of prevention.
Scottsbluff Public Schools has long prided itself as a community and school system in which the patrons and the District work cooperatively and collectively for the betterment of EVERY child’s education. The District has intently listened to all viewpoints (including medical experts) on this highly contentious issue and used that input to make the best decision, at this moment in time, for the students, staff and patrons we serve. Patrons are welcome to contact the Board of Education directly by visiting our website at www.sbps.net.
SBPS will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in our schools and community and will continue to consult with Panhandle Public Health District, Scotts Bluff County Health Department, and Regional West Medical Center to ensure we have appropriate protocols in place for student health and safety. Thank you for your understanding and support.