LPS to require masks for some students

Face coverings now required for pre-k through sixth grade
LPS COVID-19 Update

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln Public Schools has made changes to the 2021-22 LPS Safe Return to School Plan.

LPS says the new changes are based on information from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

All elementary school students, staff, visitors and volunteers are now required to wear a face-covering despite vaccination status.

Those also required to wear face-coverings include:

  • All sixth-grade students and sixth-grade staff
  • Middle school visitors and volunteers
  • Students and staff in the Individual Success Program, Independence Academy and Life Skills Program

“Students under the age of 12 do not have the option to be vaccinated, and therefore we must implement other measures,” says LPS Superintendent Steve Joel. “We proved last year with our protocols that requiring face coverings works. Our schools are part of the wider community, and we must do our part to slow the spread during the recent increase of local positive cases.”

For students and staff in grades 7-12, and high school visitors and volunteers the face-covering rules from the original LPS Safe Return to School Plan are still in place.

Prekindergarten through sixth-grade students are now required to wear face-coverings on school buses. This new change also includes unvaccinated staff, and students in the Individual Success Program, Independence Academy and Life Skills Program.

Bus riders in grades 7-12 have the option to wear face-coverings if they are fully vaccinated, but LPS says it is strongly advised for unvaccinated students. Students who ride the StarTran buses will be required to wear face coverings according to the City of Lincoln and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“One of the most important lessons we learned last school year is that our students need to be in school,” Joel says. “That is our number one priority and we will take whatever measures we can to ensure the majority of our students can stay in school and continue their learning with little interruption.”

Students and staff that are exposed to COVID-19 while wearing a face-covering will not need to quarantine and will be allowed to continue in-person learning.

The changes will go into effect on Monday, August 9.

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