Earlier today, Newswatch 12 learned from the Grants Pass School District that they will abide by Governor Brown’s mandate for face-coverings in school classrooms. Here is an email we received.
While we had hoped and asked for this to remain a local decision, the state has the authority to require masks under Executive Order 21-15 and Oregon Revised Statute 431A. Grants Pass School District 7 will not violate state law, therefore masks will be required for all staff, students, and visitors inside our schools.
Our district was excited to reopen school five days a week with masks optional for everyone. However, the state has notified schools that failing to comply with this mandate may result in significant fines per violation and even loss of licensure for teachers and administrators. Because of these requirements, we will not put our staff at risk of licensure violations and we will not use taxpayer dollars to pay for fines for not complying. Our number one priority remains to provide in-person instruction to every student, every day and recover from the impacts of this pandemic.
We still have local authority to make decisions on masks outside of the school day, so Grants Pass School District 7 will not require face coverings for indoor sports before or after school.
Of course masks remain optional anytime staff, students, or visitors are outside.
If families do not feel comfortable sending their student(s) to school in person, there is still time to register for GPFLEX. GPFLEX is our new school designed for at-home learning along with in-person opportunities. Families who choose this option are committing to a full grading term regardless of state changes. Registration for GPFLEX will end Monday, August 16, 2021.