As more students and staff continue their return to in-person learning, we have received many questions around face coverings and thought it would be helpful to answer some of these frequently asked questions.

[Updated: May 21, 2021] Recent statewide, masks, face coverings or face shields updates to not apply K-12 schools, schools must follow (K-12 schools must comply with the Ready School, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance face covering requirements). This guidance DOES apply to K-12 sports. Outdoor guidance changed from requiring to recommending face coverings for athletes and spectators.

Indoor guidance did not change. In K-12 schools, fully vaccinated individuals must continue comply with Ready School, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance for face coverings, which requires face coverings while inside school facilities.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Does the school provide face coverings for students?
A: If a student needs a face covering, the school has them on hand to provide for students.

Q: Does a face covering have to have straps around the ears?
A: Whatever is the most comfortable for the student, as long as it is secure over their nose and mouth.

Q: Is it required that students have face coverings that are double layered?
A: Yes. Students face coverings must be two layers or one thick layer (equals two) similar to the ODE white cloth face coverings that are available.

Q: Are gaiters, the face coverings that go around the neck that you pull up over the nose, okay for students?
A: Neck gaiters for kids would be acceptable as long as they are two layers or one thick layer. Folding your mask to make it two layers is also acceptable.

Your Guide to Masks | CDC

Face coverings are required for all students and staff when in a Salem-Keizer Public Schools building, with the exceptions noted below.

CDC face covering graphic

Image from the CDC.

Face shields are an acceptable alternative only when a student has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering, or when people need to see the student’s mouth and tongue motions in order to communicate, or when an individual is speaking to an audience for a short period of time and clear communication is otherwise not possible.

Reach out to your resident schools for further situational questions.

Guidance for families who don’t want to wear masks

We will work with families of students who are not willing to wear a mask to find the best course of education for that individual. Our Enhanced Digital and Guided Education (EDGE) program is fully online with no in-person learning options.

More information on face coverings, face shields, and can be found on the bottom of page 26 in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guide.