August 26, 2021: COVID-19 & Mask Procedures Update
Big Sandy Students, Families, Faculty, Staff,
We want to take a moment to provide a COVID-19 update for our school community, as well as inform you of a temporary change in mask procedures at BSE.
While the percentage of COVID-19 positives at BSE remains at about one percent schoolwide, the infection rate has risen to approximately 20 – 30 percent in two of our classrooms. Students and teachers in those two classes will quarantine for the next six school days, as a measure to limit possible exposure to additional students. Members of the two affected classes have been contacted directly. If you did not receive direct communication about this, your student’s class is not included in the quarantine.
Beginning Friday, August 27, masks will be required at Big Sandy for anyone inside the school building. Students will not be required to wear masks while eating or drinking, at PE, or during outdoor activities. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, you are not considered a close contact of someone with COVID-19, when both people are consistently and correctly wearing masks, and they remain three feet apart. With the increased number of positive cases at Big Sandy, the likelihood of a student coming in close contact with COVID-19 is greater right now. Our students need to be in school, and the schoolwide mask requirement is an important strategy in avoiding the need to quarantine students.
The mask requirement will be in place for Big Sandy Friday, August 27, through Friday, September 3. Students will be out of school for Labor Day on Monday, September 6 and for a Professional Development Day on Tuesday, September 7. When students return to school on Wednesday, September 8, Big Sandy will resume the procedure of masks being strongly recommended, but not required. Masks will still be required on buses, as that is a federal requirement. If there are any changes to this plan, we will communicate that with you immediately and directly. This temporary shift in mask procedures applies only at Big Sandy and does not affect any other TCSS school at this time.
Parents and guardians, please make sure your students are aware of the change in mask procedures. Thank you for working with us to achieve a goal we all know is so important – keeping our students in school! Please reach out to the school office with any questions.
Mrs. Glynis Rhodes
Principal, Big Sandy Elementary
Dr. Keri Johnson
Superintendent, Tuscaloosa County School System
Mrs. Cindy O’Quinn
Director of Health Services, Tuscaloosa County School System