COVID Protocols

Lakota Releases COVID Protocols, Requires Masks
Posted on 08/16/2021
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Mask required protect yourself and othersOn Aug. 16, 2021, Lakota Superintendent Matthew Miller shared the following message with staff, students and parents to announce this school year's COVID-19 protocols, including the requirement for all PreK-12 staff and students to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Dear Lakota Parents, Guardians and Students,


Thank you for patience as we have been gaining clarity on recent information shared by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Butler County General Health District (BCGHD), along with your responses to our face covering survey.


Based on the advice of medical experts, the increasing numbers of positive COVID cases among children in our county and stringent in-school quarantine protocols, we will now require that face masks be worn indoors for all students and staff at Lakota, preschool through twelfth grade, regardless of vaccination status. 


We want our students to stay in school, in person. Medical professionals have shared with us that masks add an extra layer of protection, even for vaccinated individuals. By requiring face coverings, our staff and students will not only help protect one another from spreading the virus, but they will also be able to stay in school and avoid quarantine if they are identified as a close contact to a positive case.


As a public school district, please understand that we must follow the quarantine protocols set by our local health department. With very few exceptions, students in our early childhood and elementary schools are not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine yet. While vaccination rates among teens are on the rise in our county, a significant number are still unvaccinated and requiring face coverings is the best way to protect all of our students and staff.


We understand that requiring versus strongly recommending face coverings in school is a very controversial topic. In fact, the survey results confirm this. With over 6,800 responses from parents and students:

  • 49% believe that face coverings should be optional for all grades;

  • 48% believe that face coverings should be required for all or some grades:

    • 33% believe that face coverings should be required for all grades;

    • 15% believe that face coverings should be required for grades K-6 and optional for grades 7-12; and 

  • 3% are unsure.


Our staff survey results were similar. With over 900 staff members responding:

  • 52% believe that face coverings should be optional for all grades;

  • 42% believe that face coverings should be required for all or some grades:

    • 24% believe that face coverings should be required for all grades;

    • 18% believe that face coverings should be required for grades K-6 and optional for grades 7-12; and 

  • 6% are unsure.


We know that our parents want what is best for their own children. So do we. Please discuss any possible medical exemptions for face coverings with your building administrator.


We will closely monitor the numbers of positive COVID cases in our schools and our community, and will adjust our protocols, including face coverings, as needed. 


We have updated our COVID webpage with our protocols and guidelines, including quarantine requirements and when to stay home versus come to school. Please read through this information carefully. A Spanish translation will be available soon.


We want our students to stay in school. We want to limit exposure to COVID-19. We do not want to quarantine close contacts. In order to do this, we need to mask up.


Sincerely,


Matthew J. Miller
Superintendent