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mrteacherguy mrteacherguy is offline
 
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Masks in the classroom
Old 06-22-2020, 12:59 PM
 
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As districts are planning and preparing for the 2020-2021 school year, I'm seeing that a lot of them will be requiring students and/or teachers to wear face masks.


If there's anyone from a school district that already did this before summer break, perhaps they can shed some light on this, but I can't help but wonder how this is supposed to be done effectively in a classroom setting.
Communicating clearly with a person at the checkout when one or both people is wearing masks can be complicated enough, how are we supposed to be clearly heard and understood by a classroom of students and in turn understand them?


I understand why districts are requiring them, I am just having difficulty understanding how this can be implemented in real life classrooms.


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Old 06-22-2020, 01:08 PM
 
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My district bought "tens of thousands" of them because originally everyone was saying they'd be required. If you're wondering where that money came from, our governor directed CARES money to schools, but it can ONLY be used for covid related expenses, not to back fill our decimated regular budget. So they have tons of money available for stuff like masks, cleaning supplies, etc.

Then at the state level they started saying students won't be required to wear them. On the one hand, I did not see policing mask wearing all day being feasible at all. OTOH, the teacher is the one in the room who is at risk. So if she wears a mask but the students don't, what good does that do, considering the mask protects others and not the wearer?

Even if someone is going to say that the teacher has to wear the mask to protect the students, that still makes no sense because the students will be around at least 25 other students who are unmasked. IMO the only thing that makes sense is everyone wears them, no exceptions (choose the online option if you don't want your kid wearing one), or they're optional for everyone. Possibly require them in situations where adults are within 6 feet of each other, such as in meetings or maybe in the hallway, not when the teacher is alone in her room with all of her unmasked students.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:21 PM
 
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Our district will require masks for all students and all adults. They will be provided and expected to be reused.

I would not feel comfortable going back to school with more than a thousand students and almost 100 adults if masks were not required.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:33 PM
 
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In our state guidelines it says that masks shouldn’t be required for anybody in the building. However, it’s up to each individual district to make their own plans.

I have so many kids that come to school unshowered, hair not brushed, dirty clothes, etc....
and we expect their parents to wash a mask nightly?
Not going to happen.
We have multiple families without running water where they live (we have the parents sign “water waivers” and the kids actually shower at school).

Even disposable masks would need to be changed throughout the day.. the minute a kid sneezes into their mask all bets are off.

Our governor didn’t direct any of the cares money towards masks or sanitizing... instead he directed the majority of it towards summer school and additional state testing.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:24 PM
 
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It's looking like my district is going to require masks of teachers (when within 6 feet of students or others), but NOT students. Why then? Who protects the teachers? Furthermore, the students are FAR more likely to catch it from one another than from me...I don't cough and sneeze on my kindergartners, but they certainly do on each other!


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Old 06-22-2020, 04:37 PM
 
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Just as things changed on a daily basis when Covid first hit I expect that guidelines will be constantly changing when school starts again and everyone experiences real world applications of those guidelines. Also, more and more research is being done about the infection and transmission rate of children and hopefully there will be a better understanding of that data by the end of summer. I don't think you should stress about it until it happens.
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masks
Old 06-23-2020, 01:57 AM
 
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For those of you who will be required to wear masks, but students aren't, you might want to consider buying a mask that protects the wearer. These are more expensive obviously (about $30-$45 a mask), but they are washable. Yes, you shouldn't have to, but if you're required to work and kids aren't wearing masks, it might be worth it. Because they have several layers, they do take a while to air dry, so 2 is a good idea.

I first researched them when we lived in Egypt and air pollution in the winter was horrendous. But we've also been using them now.

Most come in two styles--valved and non valved. Valved masks only protect the wearer as the valve allows unfiltered exhales. Now, in my opinion the exhale is probably similar to wearing a cotton mask (slows it down, but doesn't stop it). Prior to Covid, the valved masks were more popular because if you are wearing them for air pollution or because of allergies, protecting others wasn't an issue.

The non valved masks protect both wearer and others. Valved masks get less warm. Some people buy a valved mask and just put a bit of tape over the valve. Or they wear a light weight cotton mask over the valved mask to provide the extra layer for others.

Vogmask is the company we used for air pollution protection and again for Covid. Currently they have a ton of valved masks in a range of prints. They only have one color (black) in nonvalved, but they say they are coming out with prints for nonvalved as well. They are in high demand and just got back in stock after months of not being in stock. Currently the restock Mon, Weds, Fri at 8 am Pacific and sell out in about 3 minutes! So you have to get on a few minutes before and be ready to go! If you make an account ahead of time, you can save check out time (and likelihood of it going out of stock while you type in your address). I find Vogmasks comfortable. My two kids (ages 4 and 7) have the size small and my husband and I both wear the large. I am 5'7" and about 150 lb. He is about 5'10" and 200 lb.

SMALL fits youth under 10 years
MEDIUM fits 10 years old to petite adult
MEDIUM+ fits smaller and shorter adults under 5'7"
LARGE fits most adults, 5'7" and taller
XL fits only very tall or large adults

https://www.vogmask.com/

Cambridge Masks is another good one and they do preorders. Current shipping time is in August now for the current preorder round. They only have valved at the moment, and only in one color (Navy I think). We have them on preorder, but haven't received yet.

https://cambridgemask.com/
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At this point
Old 06-23-2020, 06:44 AM
 
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We are not requiring masks. It may change , but the reasoning is that they donít want teachers to be mask police and also we donít want to get sued due to someone in the building not wearing their masks- (maybe forgetting to put it back on after lunch, etc), and yes we have parents that would do that.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:25 AM
 
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Masks are required statewide. Kids are used to wearing them. I reopened my tutoring center a week ago. I thought masks would be a problem, but none of the kids had any issues.

We all had to get used to speaking louder and clearly.

They are only here for 1-2 hours. If it were all day I would expect to take them outside for brief water/breathing breaks.

I would not return to a classroom if kids were not wearing masks for my own protection.
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We Don't Know Yet
Old 06-24-2020, 04:32 PM
 
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As far as we know, we are only going to have half the kids at one time. No one knows what they will actually look like.

As to the masks, I think only teachers are required to wear them. They already let kids in our building with masks required without masks. Some kids were saying they couldn't wear them and we excused. Other forgot and were told to "hurry up." Yep, so it was the first trial and our district failed at upholding any standard.


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Yes
Old 06-24-2020, 04:53 PM
 
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Our new state guidelines say students must wear masks whenever in the building. Teachers can wear shield.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:27 AM
 
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For a shield to be effective though, it needs to be worn with a mask. Yikes. I will probably consider that. I see the ladies at Costco at the exit, doing the same - mask and shield and it makes sense. Thanks for posting the links, daffodils. I will look into those!
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