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Masks Will Be Required in Manhattan Beach Schools

Aug 19, 2021 02:06PM ● By Mb News Staff
As the Manhattan Beach schools prepare for full-time reopening next week, families are being advised that masks will be required indoors for all students.

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District confirmed as much at Tuesday night's school board meeting with a presentation on MBUSD schools in 2021/22

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has a mandatory indoor masking requirement that will apply to Manhattan Beach schools, said MBUSD Supeintendent John Bowes.

However, he noted, students may have masks off when outdoors for recess and for eating or drinking.

Public comment at the meeting ran overwhelmingly in favor of mask-wearing at school.

"From my family to you, THANK YOU for mandating masks in schools and for helping to create a place where kids can learn in person, laugh and chit chat with their buddies, and be as safe as possible," wrote parent Margaret Ng. "In my case, you are also adding protection for my 80 year mom."

Parent Meg Perella told the board that since her child is not yet eligible for the vaccine, a mask is her only protection from the virus.

"I am sure you’ve heard from a noisy minority who would prefer no mask requirement in school. I’m confident the vast majority of MBUSD parents understand the science, and know better," wrote Perella. "Nobody WANTS to wear a mask. But this is the situation we are in, and adults do what is necessary. The kids are watching. Let’s lead by example, follow the science, and make sure everyone wears a mask indoors at school. It’s the very least we can do."

Staff members also weighed in.

"As a teacher at Mira Costa, I strongly support the Board's masking requirement at school as a necessary precaution to protect the safety of staff and students," wrote teacher Andrew Caine. "Until we get past the Delta variant and other potential variants, I would not feel comfortable in the classroom without masks (and/or proof that all students are vaccinated)...Masking also protects the privacy rights of vaccinated and unvaccinated people by applying the same requirements to all. Thank you for your support of teachers."

Further COVID Precautions

Additionally, students will need to have a daily health check filled out (the RUVNA questionnaire (which was also used last year); there will be new ventilation systems and HEPA filters; and all individuals on campus will be urged to maintain social distancing wherever possible.

Furthermore, all school employees will be required to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID tests by October 15. Those students who are eligible for the vaccine are urged to get vaccinated, and to get a clear COVID test before school begins.

In case a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, there will be contact tracing and alerts sent out. As per the L.A. County Department of Public Health, if a vaccinated person is exposed to a person with COVID, the vaccinated person does not need to quarantine, but they are encouraged to be tested.

For those students who cannot attend school in person, a new independent study option created by Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130) will give them access to synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

Over the summer at MBUSD, there were a total of five COVID cases on campuses - two students and three staff members - constituting 0.2 percent of the 2,100 students and staff on campus.

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