COVID Mask Update

COVID Update

Dear Perry Families,
We appreciate everyone’s support, feedback and questions as it relates to the District’s decision to
require masks for all students and staff starting next Tuesday (9/7/21). In an attempt to make sure
everyone is getting the same information in a timely manner, we’ve created a document that
hopefully will answer the questions we have received to this point. I want to apologize in advance,
this document contains a ton of facts and links to additional information.

Much of the discussion/questions center on the district’s ability to mask and quarantine. Obviously
prior to making any decisions, we received guidance from our own legal advisors. Please take the
time to click on the following links for the basis behind these two aspects. This advice removes any
personal biases with intent of reducing any risk to our students, staff or district.

Legal Basis: Masks
Legal Basis: Quarantine

The district understands that some families have strong beliefs about mask regardless of the legality.
The district will accept medical waivers only and will not require a mask for those students with
documented special needs (IEP). All other students will be required to wear a mask starting Tuesday,
September 7, 2021. If your child does not have a mask, one will be provided as we start the week. No
child or staff member will be allowed to attend class without a face covering. The mask is only
required indoors and when 6’ of social distancing cannot be achieved.

We understand this is unacceptable to some families. We respect everyone’s right to choose the best
school setting for their child. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an alternative setting in Perry
Local. The district just doesn’t have the staffing to make that a reality. Please see below various
opportunities that currently exist should you desire an online setting. The district will assist you in
any way in making the transition to these online resources as smooth as possible. Again, we just
aren’t built/staffed to run two different educational formats in an effective manner at one time.

Digital Online Options

As stated in my previous letter, school districts have become “ground zero” for the many
controversies that surround COVID 19. We have become expendable political collateral so we have
to base our decisions on what we have been advised by legal and state/local health authorities. Many
questions we have received surround the effectiveness of mask. In the first link below, you will be
taken to the Stark County Health Department where any questions you have related to masks and
indicated usage/effectiveness can be found. Furthermore, a link to a document outlining research on
masks is included. Again, we are not medical professionals and can only make decisions based upon
what the medical experts recommend. There is also a third link to the most recent press release as it
relates to the caseload the Health Department is dealing with.
Face Mask Research

We are well aware of the varying opinions on both sides of wearing face coverings, and regardless of
those opinions, the Ohio Department of Health has stated that asymptomatic students wearing face
coverings can continue in-person instruction and co/extra-curricular school activities. In order for us
to maintain in-person instruction, wearing a face covering is the best option. Our greatest threats to
in-person instruction are positive COVID-19 cases and contact traced quarantined students. We
appreciate each person’s passion for this issue and sharing your viewpoint. In order for anything to
change, based upon everything stated above, decisions will need to be made at a much higher level.
Below is a link to our area legislators and those who have the ability to alter the laws and mandates
we operate under:

We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available. Again, the decision to
wear face coverings gives Perry Local the best opportunity to remain open and give our kids a
traditional educational experience. We thank you for your patience and willingness to work
together towards our ultimate goal of yearlong in-person instruction.

Scott Beatty

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