5 St. Vrain Valley faculties not too long ago reported masks exemption charges increased than 3% to Boulder County Public Well being, together with a Longmont constitution college with an exemption fee of 23%.
The info exhibits greater than 90% of elementary, center and excessive faculties within the county have masks exemption charges under 3%. All faculties within the Boulder Valley Faculty District have masks exemption charges under 3%.
Boulder Public Well being issued a mask mandate in August for all faculties and little one care facilities. Faculty districts and faculties have been allowed to develop a medical masks exemption coverage, with many personal faculties utilizing the identical exemption course of as the varsity districts. St. Vrain Valley permits households to request a masks exemption “if their pupil has any medical causes that may make carrying a masks troublesome or dangerous.”
Boulder County Public Well being in October up to date its steering for faculties to incorporate a requirement that faculties report masks exemption charges. The info may be discovered underneath the “masks exemption” part on Boulder Public Well being’s college steering webpage.
Taylor Carranza, Boulder County Public Well being COVID-19 college liaison and coverage specialist, stated the well being division is working with faculties with increased masks exemption charges so as to add extra mitigation choices. These might embody an earlier response to case surges or outbreaks and elevated testing for workers members.
“We’re so appreciative of our continued partnerships with faculties,” they stated.
They stated the well being division has seen a few outbreaks at faculties with increased masks exemption charges, however hasn’t see proof of upper case numbers. Most pupil transmission continues to be pushed by actions outdoors college, they stated.
In St. Vrain Valley, Twin Peaks Classical Academy, a Okay-12 Longmont constitution college with an enrollment of 831 college students, reported a 23% masks exemption fee. In its notes concerning the college, Boulder County Public Well being famous “persistent circumstances and plenty of complaints” and “greater than the official quantity are unmasked.” An outbreak at Twin Peaks that concerned 14 college students and one workers case was reported in September.
Twin Peaks Director Joseph Mehsling stated he’s not shocked by the varsity’s excessive exemption fee on condition that Twin Peaks didn’t require masks final college yr for college kids 10 and underneath, as allowed underneath the state’s guidelines on the time. He makes use of St. Vrain Valley’s exemption course of, he stated, and personally approves every request — and didn’t approve people who didn’t present a legitimate medical cause.
Whereas the varsity could also be an outlier in terms of masks exemptions, he stated, it’s not an outlier when case charges. Twin Peaks has had a positivity fee of about 5%, about the identical as that of the typical for the varsity district, he stated.
“If our knowledge was out of line, I might be doing issues in another way,” he stated. “I’m seeing plenty of faculties making an attempt plenty of various things. None of it’s actually working to cease delta. Faculties are reflections of their communities. We’re all going by this.”
4 non-charter St. Vrain faculties additionally reported masks exemption charges above 3%.
Longmont’s Fall River Elementary reported a masks exemption fee of 11%, with the well being division noting it’s principally kindergarten college students who’re unmasked and that there haven’t been any outbreaks on the college.
Lyons Elementary reported an exemption fee of 5%, whereas Lyons Center/Senior Excessive reported a fee of 6.5%. Each are smaller faculties, enrolling 283 college students and 370 college students, respectively.
Longmont’s Most important Road Faculty, which enrolls 41 college students, reported an exemption fee of 5% — with simply 2 college students unmasked. Most important Road serves college students with disabilities.
St. Vrain Valley spokeswoman Kerri McDermid stated the district has sturdy security measures in place in any respect its faculties, together with social distancing, high-quality HVAC methods with elevated air flow and heightened cleansing protocols.
She added that the majority college students with a masks exemption proceed to put on a masks throughout the day, with the exemption requested so the coed might momentarily take away their masks if wanted due to a medical situation.
The Boulder County knowledge doesn’t embody St. Vrain faculties positioned in Weld County, together with faculties in Erie, Firestone, Frederick and Mead. St. Vrain Valley beforehand denied a Instances-Name request for masks fee exemption knowledge by college, citing the potential for figuring out particular person college students. However the district did present charges by county and faculty stage.
Weld County faculties have an exemption fee of 4%, whereas Boulder County faculties have a 1% exemption fee. The general district exemption fee, in response to district officers, is 2.5%. For elementary faculties and PK-8s, it’s 3%. For center faculties and excessive faculties, it’s 2%.
Boulder County Public Well being additionally collected knowledge on personal faculties. Three personal faculties in Boulder County reported masks exemption charges increased than 3%.
Longmont’s Crossroads School, which enrolls 25 center and highschool college students, reported a pupil exemption fee of 24% and a workers exemption fee of 11%.
Crossroads Govt Director Barb Bulthuis stated the varsity serves many college students with particular wants and makes use of the identical masks exemption request format as St. Vrain Valley. The varsity, positioned at FaithPoint Church, additionally has the house to socially distance college students a minimum of 6 ft to assist with mitigation, and supplies at-home COVID-19 checks to households by request, she stated.
The varsity, she added, hasn’t had any coronavirus circumstances attributed to in-school transmission because the pandemic began.
Longmont’s Desiderata School, which enrolls 16 college students, reported a pupil exemption fee of 69%. Your entire Okay-12 college quarantines when there may be one case, in response to the well being division.
Erika McHenry, Desiderata’s workplace supervisor, stated the varsity’s efforts to mitigate the dangers “have been remarkably profitable,” with solely a single coronavirus case reported because the pandemic began. She stated the entire workers members are also masked and vaccinated, whereas the coed vaccination fee is 78%.
“Now we have carried out as many security measures and cleansing procedures as our finances and workers can fairly handle,” she stated, including the varsity makes use of the identical masks exemption request format as St. Vrain Valley.
Niwot’s Rocky Mountain Christian Academy, which enrolls 126 college students, reported an exemption fee of 4.7%. The varsity didn’t reply to a request for remark.
4 personal faculties haven’t supplied their masks exemption charges to the well being division: Hopewell Baptist Academy, Saint Louis Catholic Faculty, Longmont Christian Faculty and The Joshua Faculty.