Face masks to be worn by all at school, options expanded after Town Hall questions

Devine ISD hosted a virtual Town Hall meeting with staff and another with parents last week to give the community an idea of how Devine is handling the re-opening of the schools as the first day is a little over two weeks away, slated for August 24th. Two issues had to be quickly addressed as it lead to a lot of frustration and posts on social media about the limited choices of face masks and confusion over when COVID-19 symptoms will be cause for quarantine.
Devine administration quickly addressed the questions and pushed the answers out to the public by email, voicemail and media posts.
“We want to thank everyone that participated in the town hall meeting we hosted on July 28th. I want to first clarify the guidelines in regards to face masks as related in the informational session. I do want to apologize for not clearly explaining information regarding the masks and a couple of other items,” said Dr.Todd Grandjean, Devine ISD Superintendent.

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Face mask policy
The planned district face covering policy included for students to be able to wear any solid-color face covering (blue, green, yellow, purple, etc.), and if they chose to wear a multiple-colored facemask, this must include any combination of the following five spirit colors: maroon, white, black, grey, and gold.
“In my description of the policy during the public Q&A, at 22:35 into the session, this information was explained; however, it seems that I failed to fully frame this, as there was much confusion as to our policy requiring only spirit colors for all student masks”, said Grandjean.
“The district administrative team always strives to make decisions based on consistency with existing policy and student success. At no time does our team ever intend to put an unnecessary hardship on any of our families,” Grandjean.
After much reflection and discussion with campus administrators, it was decided that, in an effort to provide families with maximum flexibility, students may wear masks of any color and pattern/print.
However, no writing will be allowed. The exception to this is any DISD spirit-related writing. Examples include “DW”, “Warhorses”, “Arabians”, “Devine Strong”, “Warhorse Nation”, etc. Any campus name or mascot will be acceptable. Masks with the clear piece over the mouth are allowable.
If you have questions about acceptable writing, please contact the campus principal. Masks should follow the guidelines of the Dress and Grooming section of the Student-Parent Handbook: Masks should not lead school officials to reasonably believe that such dress or grooming will disrupt, interfere with, or distract from a school activity.
Students shall not wear articles of clothing, including masks, which advertise or promote alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, drugs, or violent behaviors/actions (wrestling, movies, music groups, etc.).
Symptoms of COVID-19 and quarantine
“In addition, I’d like to clarify the following: With regards to the symptoms of COVID-19 and quarantine, please remember that according to CDC guidelines, if a person has a headache, runny nose, etc., the key phrase is “that is new or not normal for him/her”, then that person must report those symptoms to the campus administration,” said Grandjean.
“Thank you for your support during these extremely difficult times. As we continue to coordinate with local, state, and federal agencies, it is our goal to keep you, the families of this great district, informed. We all find ourselves in a foreign environment this year. Challenges will come, but I know that Devine ISD administrators, teachers, and parents can work together to overcome the obstacles we face and provide your students -our students- with the opportunity to experience academic success this year, “said Grandjean.
By Kathleen Calame