District Launching Mask Matrix Beginning January 2022
Huntsville City Schools will implement a new masking procedure beginning January 4, 2022 that will utilize a Mask Matrix which will decide between Masks Optional and Masks Mandatory depending on the overall community transmission rate for Madison County during the preceding 10 business days.
This procedure will be in effect for the Spring Semester or until the Superintendent recommends a different procedure and will apply to all faculty, staff, visitors, and students. The rules are not different between grade spans, including for Pre-Kindergarten.
- Any students who receive Special Education services that have been found to be exempt from wearing masks will remain so during any period of Masks Mandatory for the Spring Semester.
- Parents may still seek exemptions from any Masks Mandatory period for the same reasons that would have justified an exception during Fall 2021.
The District will require faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks indoors on District property when the Overall Community Transmission Rate (as defined by Alabama Department of Public Health (“ADPH”)) for Madison County is “Substantial” or “High” for 7 of the last 10 business days.
- All faculty, staff, visitors, and students will be required to wear masks on school buses in compliance with current federal orders.
- During the Spring 2022 Semester, the District will continue to implement its Fall 2021 Procedures with respect to individuals who test positive or are symptomatic for COVID-19.
- Covid-19 close contact exclusions will continue as they have during the Fall 2021 semester.
- Exception: Early return for asymptomatic individuals allowed regardless of masking status.
- The District will continue to report known cases of COVID-19 to ADPH.
Beginning Friday, January 14, 2022, the District team will analyze the Overall Community Transmission Rate for Madison County for the preceding 10 business days. As part of this analysis, the District will consider the number of business days that are “Substantial” or “High” versus the number of business days that are “Low” and “Moderate.”
Students will begin the second semester in Masks Mandatory until the first determination is made after January 14, 2022.
If in Masks Optional:
- If the combined number of “Substantial” and “High” business days is at least 7, then switch to Masks Mandatory.
- If the combined number of “Substantial” and “High” business days is less than 7, then remain Masks Optional.
If in Masks Mandatory:
- If the combined number of “Low” and “Moderate” business days is at least 7, then switch to Masks Optional.
- If the combined number of “Low” and “Moderate” business days is less 7, then remain Masks Mandatory.
The District will perform this analysis every Friday after January 14, 2022.
The Superintendent’s Team will be responsible for letting parents know the result of the analysis described above, so parents/guardians will know masking status for the following week.
Reservation of Rights:
The Superintendent is authorized by Policy 4.18 to implement procedures to mitigate against infectious disease as long as it is consistent with guidance from the State, ADPH, and CDC.
As such, the Superintendent reserves the right to consider circumstances at a given school or campus and to implement mitigative measures specific to that school. Such circumstances include but are not limited to: overall student absenteeism; faculty absenteeism; overall District COVID-19 positive cases; and evidence of facility transmissions including potential outbreaks as defined by ADPH.