August 20, 2021 Update
Dear staff and families,
Thank you to all students, staff and families who have helped the start of our school year begin on a positive note.
I am writing to make you aware that beginning Monday, August 23 through at least the first nine weeks of school, the wearing of face masks will now be mandatory for all students, staff, and visitors in Preschools, Elementary Schools and Middle Schools. We will evaluate the conditions again after that time to determine next steps. The Board is aware of this decision and members have expressed their support.
This decision comes after I have closely monitored the number of individuals who have chosen to follow our masking recommendations this week and reviewed publicly available data trends impacting other public school districts in Ohio, including Olentangy Schools. The Board of Education is aware of these trends and my concerns about preserving the continuity of education.
My goal remains to keep as many students and staff in the classroom as possible and out of quarantine. Based on the observations of our individual building administrators, I am increasingly concerned that students and staff are at risk of being quarantined, and missing class.
Medical and health experts continue to state the two strongest mitigation factors against COVID-19 are vaccination and wearing face masks. Face masks will continue to be strongly recommended for staff, students, and visitors in High Schools and all other health and prevention mitigation strategies will remain in place. While the majority of students and staff eligible are vaccinated at the high schools, we will continue to evaluate the current mask recommendations at those grade levels. For those individuals who believe they may require a face mask waiver, please use the Olentangy Schools 21-22 Mask Exemption Form and submit to your school office. Additionally, the Delaware Public Health District Guidelines for Quarantine After Exposure in K-12 Classroom Setting is available for your reference.
As mentioned in previous messages, I understand this topic is a difficult and divisive issue within the community and these decisions are not made lightly. Again, my goal is to keep as many staff and students in the classroom as possible. This is how we can best make that happen. Thank you for your support in this effort.
Proud to serve as your Superintendent,
Mark T. Raiff