Goshen Community Schools Requires Masks For K-6 Students

Aug 23, 2021


Starting Monday, Aug. 23, Goshen Community Schools students at the following schools will have to wear a mask indoors: 

  • Chamberlain Elementary School
  • Chandler Elementary School
  • Model Elementary School
  • Parkside Elementary School
  • Prairie View Elementary School
  • Waterford Elementary School
  • West Goshen Elementary School
  • Goshen Intermediate School

Earlier this month, GCS required masks for staff and visitors in K-6 buildings, but the student mask mandate is new. 

 

District officials said in an Aug. 20 release the decision is meant to protect students under age 12, who aren’t able to get the COVID-19 vaccine yet. They say masks will also keep students from returning to virtual learning, which is more difficult for elementary students. 

 

Elkhart County health officials renewed their call for indoor masking last week, as the delta variant continues to drive an increase in cases and hospitalizations in the county.

 

GCS officials say they’ll evaluate the mask policy weekly based on the following local, state and federal pandemic measures: 

  • the vaccination rate
  • the number of positive cases
  • community transmission
  • the occurrence of outbreaks
  • the number of hospitalizations
  • the number of ICU beds and ventilators available

The district will also reinstate its COVID-19 dashboard, which will be updated weekly.

 

(Read the full release from the school district below.)

After reviewing local pandemic conditions, Goshen Community Schools is issuing a temporary mask requirement for all students in grades K-6 starting Monday, August 23, 2021, and continuing the mask requirement for all staff and visitors in K-6 buildings. 

  • GCS will review the K-6 mask requirement weekly.
  • The decision was made to protect the school year and in-person learning. Virtual learning is more difficult in grades K-2. 
  • The mask requirement is being put in place for the safety of our youngest and most vulnerable students who cannot be vaccinated. 
  • All students, staff, and visitors at Chamberlain, Chandler, Model, Parkside, Prairie View, Waterford, West Goshen, and Goshen Intermediate School must wear masks beginning on Monday, August 23rd. 
  • GCS still supports the CDC recommendation that all students, staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Students have the option to wear masks at recess and will have mask breaks throughout the day.

We did not make this decision lightly. We understand that wearing a mask every day can be a challenge. As stated above, we will evaluate pandemic conditions weekly, and make decisions based on the recommendations of the local, state and federal public health officials.

 

Elkhart County is currently experiencing a rise in the number of positive cases and hospitalizations, and is nearing the “Orange'' category, according to the number of cases per 100,000 people. To view the most updated state/county COVID statistics, go to: https://buff.ly/2AV5GHD

 

GCS administrators will actively monitor the following COVID statistics including:

  • the vaccination rate
  • the number of positive cases
  • community transmission
  • the occurrence of outbreaks
  • the number of hospitalizations
  • the number of ICU beds and ventilators available

Administrators will use these numbers to guide decisions on the level of layered mitigation strategies necessary such as masking, hand washing, physical distancing, disinfecting, etc. 

 

GCS will also reinstate the COVID dashboard on the corporate website, which will be updated weekly.

 

Vaccinations are the best defense against the COVID virus. If you or your student are eligible, please consider getting vaccinated. You may register for a vaccine at https://buff.ly/2Xl9DNO or call 211 for more information. 

 

For more information see the GCS Pandemic Plan infographic.