Face masks not required for Hamilton Southeastern Schools students


During its June 23 meeting, the Hamilton Southeastern Schools board of trustees voted 6-1 to not require students to wear face coverings when they return to school in the fall. Face coverings will be encouraged, however. Board member Sarah Parks-Reese cast the only dissenting vote.

Masks will still be required on school buses and for visitors. Lunch visitors will not be allowed. The school board will reevaluate all the plan in December.

In addition, students won’t be required to be vaccinated to return to school. Fully vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is either suspected to be COVID-19 positive or is positive. They will be expected to monitor their symptoms for the 14 days and “isolate immediately if symptoms occur,” according to the return-to-school plan. Unvaccinated students will face a 14-day quarantine if exposed to someone who has, or is suspected to have, COVID-19.

On school buses, students in kindergarten through eighth grade will have assigned seats and will be expected to go straight to their seat. The buses will be frequently sanitized.

For recess, the outside play space will be divided into zones. Classroom cohorts will recess together and rotate through the zones throughout the week.

In June, the school administration sent out a questionnaire to parents seeking input on back-to-school policies. More than 4,300 people responded.

Matt Kegley, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, called the number of responses a “very sizable amount of responses and input compared to other things are requests for feedback on.”