Face Coverings During a Pandemic
The Smithfield School Committee recognizes the benefits of wearing face coverings to reduce the spread of viruses during a pandemic. During pandemics, students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear face coverings and, whenever possible, maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from others for the duration of his or her time in a building. It is required that face coverings be worn by students, even in stable group settings. Face coverings are also required in settings where people can easily and continuously maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
In accordance with RIDE guidance, there will be no penalty for a child not wearing a face covering. Instead, reminders may be appropriate. If the child is being willfully disobedient, that behavior will be addressed according to regular, disciplinary policies.
Face coverings will be available at all entrances, in every classroom, and office for faculty, staff, students, and visitors who forget or do not have a face covering. When necessary and if available, teachers may use clear face coverings to improve communication. Face shields do not replace the need to wear a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include masks with two or more layers and disposable masks produced for this purpose. Gaiters, as well as loosely tied bandanas, are not acceptable.
Face coverings may be removed when eating. Additionally, some students with special needs or certain medical conditions may be exempt from wearing a face covering during all or part of the school day. Such exemptions are under the discretion of the Director of Special Education.
Adopted: October 19, 2020