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Shoals schools work on mask plan for students

Students who choose the traditional school route will wear masks at school until the order expires August 31st.

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 5:34 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2020 9:02 PM

Many school superintendents in the Shoals say they’re glad Gov. Kay Ivey extended the mask order because it took pressure off them, but now schools are wondering how to enforce the mask order in schools.

"It's going to take some training and some education with the kids about when it's appropriate to wear the mask and when it's not appropriate," said Muscle Shoals Superintendent Chad Holden. "It's a safety measure, I think it's called for right now with the level of (coronavirus) cases we're experiencing and we will figure it out."

Holden said he has a few ideas on how to get students to keep the masks on.

"We will have scheduled mask breaks throughout the day. We are not going to ask children to wear a mask for 7 1/2 hours a day. We couldn't do that as adults and were not doing to ask that of our kids," said Holden.

Holden said punishing students for not wearing a mask is something the district doesn't plan on doing.

"Initially this will not be something we consider a disciplinary infraction. We're going to have a period of easing into this and training kids first and I think that's important," said Holden.

"It's just like dress code. I would always tell the high school students when I was principal we never want dress code to become a discipline issue only when there is non compliance does it become an issue."

Students 2nd grade and below don't have to wear a mask while at school. Ivey's order also stated that students should wear the masks, "When it's practical." The Colbert County School System said it will not punish students for not wearing a mask and said it will support students, faculty, and families to the best of it's abilities.

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