A letter was sent to the parents of students in the Southeast Cornerstone Public School Division this week stating it would be up to the parents discretion as to whether or not their child would need to wear a mask in gym class. It applies to all students in all schools throughout the division, as it was a decision made at the behest of the province.
The letter, therefore, emphasizes safety measures, as some staff members may be compromised.
"We're heavily emphasizing safety as that is the reason for the layers of protection, and whether that's physical distancing or hand hygiene, single cohorts of students, vaccination testing, masking, etc. They're all layers of protection and we do have students and staff who have compounding health issues and whose risk is greater than others, perhaps so some may have milder symptoms, but some may not, and so we need to be thinking of all people at all times, and the impact of of this," explained Director of Education Lynn Little with the SECPSD.
She said extra-curricular activities are different in terms of rules, than gym class.
"Physical education, that is a curriculum course. And so there are many students in the gymnasiums together upwards, you know, 25 children there, there is an exemption for close contacts and so, because of that exemption, there may be sometimes full classes of students who have been identified as close contacts, and so without masks on and being potentially infectious, we just want folks to know all of those pieces so that they can make an informed decision."
"At the extra-curr level, for example, if the high school end if a student is deemed a close contact, then they are not exempted from attending extra curves, so they don't attend extra curve and so when the students take their masks off on a basketball court or a volleyball court, there are no known close contacts on those courts because they're not exempted to attend, but that's different in Phys Ed classes."
She reiterated, "we just want people to be very well informed of that when they're making their decisions."