WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- Lexington Two’s Board of Trustees approved an immediate temporary emergency mask requirement Thursday for the district’s students, employees and visitors. The temporary policy will be in effect September 3, 2021, through October 31, 2021.
Students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask, barring an approved medical exemption, while on district property, on district transportation or while attending a district-related activity or event, regardless of vaccination status. Anyone without a mask will be provided one.
In just the first three weeks of the 2021-2022 school year, more than 2,000 Lexington Two students already have tested positive or are in quarantine -- nearly a quarter of the district’s total students, and more than 3 times the total students from all of last school year, and the numbers continue to rise.
Having this temporary measure in place will keep schools in session and reduce the likelihood of classroom, grade level and/or school closures due to quarantine numbers. We also hope this temporary measure will support district families by not forcing them to adjust work schedules or commitments due to a school’s unexpected move to temporary remote instruction. We already have four district schools that have been placed on temporary remote instruction over just the past week alone due to high numbers of positives and quarantines.
Board members will continue to discuss the temporary mask measure intermittently between now and the October 31 expiration, to provide an opportunity to share changes in quarantine numbers, which are affecting school closures, and consider any possible adjustments.
This was not an easy decision and we are aware there are individuals who are not happy. But we know this is our best path forward to combat the growing number of quarantined students, a plurality of whom are healthy and should be in school. We want our students in school and we want them to be actively engaged in their learning,” Dr. Wade said after Thursday’s meeting. “We can only ensure they are engaged when they are physically in our classrooms with their teachers and peers.”