Good afternoon Titans!
I know many of you have been awaiting an update about our requirement for wearing masks. Let me first tell you how much I appreciate your adherence to the guidelines that were handed down from my office at the start of the school year.
I have tracked COVID numbers and infection rates with the help of our amazing lead nurse Mrs. Kristi Matlock for the past 59 days. There have been ebbs and flows but you have remained resilient. We have been blessed not to have had the need to close schools or resort to alternative modes of instruction but I am grateful for the staff we have in place who provided for such an option if needed.
Just for your information, out of a population of 5,289 students and staff, we’ve had only 298 cases to date. 288 of those cases were reported before October 23rd. That reduces the currently infected total to 10 active cases, a .2% (two-tenths of 1%) infection rate. I strongly believe that number is due to the mask requirement along with other mitigation practices.
I have consulted with administrators and Board members to hear their points of view regarding the mask requirement. I appreciate their varied opinions. In an effort to show support for all individuals and groups affected by the “mask debate,” while I still hold safety as my top priority, I am supporting the option of wearing masks or not. Starting on Monday, November 8th, the Masking Guideline will be changed to OPTIONAL.
It is my hope that those of you who are concerned about the possibility of getting infected will continue to wear your masks. Please be careful and thoughtful of others during the next two major holiday breaks. In the event there is a substantial upturn in the infection rate among our population, I will reinforce the mask requirement.
Thank you for your continued support of the Gadsden City School System
Tony Reddick, Superintendent