Students and teachers in the Thompson School District will not be required to wear masks when school begins in August.
The Thompson School District announced this week that all schools will be in person five days a week and that, according to current state health guidelines, masks will not be needed.
The New Vision Charter School and Loveland Classical Schools released the same information Thursday, saying masks will be optional unless public health orders are changed.
“If families are more comfortable with a mask, they are encouraged to do so,” said Mike Hausmann, spokesperson for the Thompson School District.
During the past school year, students and staff were required to wear masks at school, and at different times, classes were conducted in different ways – remotely, in person, and in a hybrid of the two.
When students return to school next year, they will be in person five days a week, and classes will return to normal class size as before the pandemic, although the district is trying to equalize all class sizes. , according to information from the neighborhood school.
“There are currently no public health orders requiring social distancing,” according to information the Thompson School District sent to families and posted online. “TSD will continue to maximize space as much as possible in school buildings.”
This means that although the distance between offices is not required as was the case last year, the district will try to use all the space in each school in the wisest and safest way possible, depending on the district.
“We will use all spaces in the buildings,” Hausmann said. “We will not stain the children too tightly. We will be safe about it. … We will continue to be smart in the way we organize classes.
Loveland’s two charter schools have also informed families of similar plans for the upcoming school year and will return to school in person full time.
Tim Bishop, executive director of New Vision, said the charter school’s goal is to return for the coming year as normally as possible.
“This means we will be following a mask not required by students or staff, per the latest public health ordinance,” Bishop wrote in an email. “We will also not be required to take social distances with our students and we look forward to regaining a sense of normalcy on our campuses.
“We are delighted to see the smiling faces of our students, parents and staff in the coming weeks. “
The Thompson School District is encouraging students and staff to get immunized “and will continue to provide opportunities to do so,” according to information released by the district.
While schools will return to full-time in-person classes, the Thompson School District will also offer a fully distance-based option, Thompson Connect Online, for families who choose this route.
Neither Loveland Classical Schools nor New Vision will be offering a fully distance-learning elective in the coming year, instead referring families interested in the school district’s Thompson Connect Online.
“We had about a handful of families who wanted to do this, so we personally weren’t going to be offering (online course),” Bishop said. “We pushed those who wanted to over to the Thompson online.”
Plans for the next school year could change if public health orders are changed, but officials at the two charter schools and the Thompson School District released the information they could to families this week. Final guidelines from Colorado and Larimer County health officials are expected by the end of the month and, according to the district, “will further define the guidelines at the start of the school year.”
“We want to make sure everyone is safe,” Hausmann said, “and we also want to make sure that we are providing the best education for all of our families.”