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Board of Education Approves Multiple Items at Called Board Meeting

The Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education met on Monday evening for a Called Board Meeting to discuss several agenda items, including the consideration of adopting an emergency mask policy for students and staff, a calendar update with an adjusted start date for 2002-2021, and a COVID-19 emergency resolution. 

July 20 Called Board Meeting Agenda and attachments can be accessed here

COVID-19 Emergency Resolution 

The Board of Education unanimously approved the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other COVID-19 Response Products (such as the district’s anti-virus foggers) on an as-needed emergency basis through June 2021. The resolution waives the bidding requirement for the purchase of PPE and COVID-19 Response Products. 

Calendar Update with Adjusted Start Date for 2020-2021

The Board of Education unanimously approved the proposed updates to the 2020-2021 Calendar, revised due to the delayed start to the 2020-2021 school year as directed by Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

Adoption of Emergency Mask Policy for Students and Staff

The Board of Education unanimously approved the adoption of a mask policy for students and staff.

Under this policy, kindergarten through 12th grade students will be required to wear a mask or face covering (a) while attending school or a school function in any school building, District facility or other area of a school campus or the District’s grounds, and (b) when riding in school-provided transportation. All masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the student. This Emergency Policy applies to students waiting outside school buildings before and after school, and to students waiting at bus stops.

Exceptions include: 

  • Students may remove masks and face coverings for eating or drinking; 
  • Students may remove masks and face coverings when appropriate social distancing measures are in place as determined by a teacher or school administrator; 
  • Students may be exempted from this Emergency Policy by the school principal due to a documented medical condition or disability of the student; 
  • Students may remove masks and face coverings on a case-by-case basis for specific instructional needs, including physical education activities, as determined by a teacher, in which case the teacher will require appropriate social distancing measures to the extent possible; or 
  • Students may remove masks and face covering while participating in athletic activities where a six feet distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the activity or active exercise; or 
  • Students may be exempted from this Emergency Policy due to special behavioral or individualized needs as determined by the Director of Special Education or the Executive Director of Student Services. 

Students who refuse to wear a mask or face covering at school or at a school function under this Emergency Policy shall be subject to discipline consistent with District Policy and exclusion from on-site instruction.  

Under this policy, all District employees shall be required to wear a mask or face covering while working or attending a school function in any school building, District facility or other area of a school campus or the District’s grounds. All masks and face coverings must cover the nose and mouth of the employee. Employees shall wear masks and face coverings at all times except for the following: 

  • Employees may remove masks and face coverings for eating and drinking; 
  • Employees may remove masks and face coverings when appropriate social distancing measures are in place; or 
  • Employees may remove masks and face covering when six feet distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the ability to safely and effectively perform an employee’s job duty; 
  • Employees may remove masks and face covering while participating in athletic activities where a six feet distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the activity or active exercise; or 
  • Employees may be exempted from this Emergency Policy by the school principal or the Superintendent due to a documented medical condition or disability of the employee. 

Employees who refuse to wear a mask or face covering at school or at a school function under this Emergency Policy shall be subject to discipline consistent with District Policy, suspension without pay and/or termination.