Current as of Aug. 18, 2020

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that K-12 teachers, staff, and students wear cloth face coverings in public settings as able when around people who live outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. CDC has provided guidance that CAC has utilized to develop our face covering guidelines (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/CFC_Guide_for_School_Administrators.pdf and  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html)

A key consideration has been the recognition by CDC that young children (e.g. preschool or early elementary aged) may be unable to wear a mask properly, particularly for an extended period of time. The school will adhere to all ADH and DHS requirements and wearing of masks has been prioritized at times when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others (e.g. during carpool drop off or pick up, or when standing in line at school). CAC has modified class and common spaces to provide for physical distancing in as many school situations as possible.

Early Childhood (PreK-3, PreK-4)

  • Per Department of Human Services guidelines, preschool students are not required to wear masks. Adults are required to wear masks.
  • CAC requires wearing masks when feasible during arrival and departure times.
  • Teachers may also have students wear masks for limited age-appropriate periods when physical distancing is not feasible (e.g. circle time) and as a health/hygiene learning activity.
  • Parents should provide a Ziploc bag with the student’s name written in permanent marker on the outside of the bag. Student face coverings will be placed in the bag when not in use.
  • Parents are asked to provide a spare face covering in a labeled Ziploc bag.
  • All face coverings should be clearly labeled with child’s name or initials.
  • Parents may attach their child’s mask to a lanyard to promote mask retention. Teachers may opt to remove masks and lanyards if they become a distraction or safety/health concern.
  • Students and staff will be allowed to wear a face covering (mask, gaiter) of their choice. Coverings and lanyards must be free of writing, logos, figures, etc… with the exception of student name or initial.
  • Students may be exempted from wearing a face covering due to documented health concerns.

Elementary School (K-4)

  • Per ADH July 20, 2020, Face Coverings Directive, persons younger than 10 years of age are exempt from wearing a face covering.
  • CAC requires wearing masks when feasible during arrival and departure times.
  • Teachers may also have students wear masks for limited age-appropriate periods when physical distancing is not feasible.
  • Parents should provide a Ziploc bag with the student’s name written in permanent marker on the outside of the bag. Student face coverings will be placed in the bag when not in use.
  • Parents are asked to provide a spare face covering in a labeled Ziploc bag.
  • All face coverings should be clearly labeled with child’s name or initials.
  • Parents may attach their child’s mask to a lanyard to promote mask retention. Teachers may opt to remove masks and lanyards if they become a distraction or safety/health concern.
  • Students and staff will be allowed to wear a face covering (mask, gaiter) of their choice. Coverings and lanyards must be free of writing, logos, figures, etc… with the exception of student name or initial.
  • Students may be exempted from wearing a face covering due to documented health concerns.

Grades 5-12

  • Per ADH July 20, 2020, Face Coverings Directive, the Secretary of Health requires every person in Arkansas to wear a face covering completely over the mouth and nose in all indoor environments and all outdoor settings, excluding private residences, where there is exposure to non-household members, unless there exists ample space of (6) feet or more to practice physical distancing.
  • Students must wear face coverings at all times except for the following:

Students may remove face coverings for eating and drinking;

Students may remove face coverings when appropriate physical distancing measures are in place as determined by a CAC staff member;

Students may remove face coverings on a case-by-case basis for specific instructional needs, including physical education activities, as determined by a teacher, in which case the teacher will require appropriate physical distancing measures;

Students may remove face coverings while participating in athletic activities where a six foot distance is not achievable, but a mask is inhibitory to the activity or active exercise; or

Students may be exempted due to a documented health concerns.

  • Parents/students should provide a Ziploc bag with the student’s name written in permanent marker on the outside of the bag. Student face coverings will be placed in the bag when not in use.
  • Parents/students are asked to provide a spare face covering in a labeled Ziploc bag to be stored in their “home room”.
  • All face coverings should be clearly labeled with child’s name or initials.
  • Parents/students may attach their child’s mask to a lanyard to promote mask retention. Teachers may opt to remove masks and lanyards if they become a distraction or safety/health concern.
  • Students and staff will be allowed to wear a face covering (mask, gaiter) of their choice. Coverings and lanyards must be free of writing, logos, figures, etc… with the exception of student name or initial.

CDC Guidance to Parents and Guardians Regarding Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings should not be worn by:

• Children younger than 2 years old.

• Anyone who has trouble breathing.

• Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

Actions to consider:

  • Have multiple cloth face coverings, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready.
  • Choose cloth face coverings that:
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Completely cover the nose and mouth.
  • Are secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape.
  • Label your child’s cloth face coverings clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children.
  • Practice with your child putting on and taking off cloth face coverings without touching the cloth.
  • Explain the importance of wearing a cloth face covering and how it protects other people from getting sick.
  • Consider talking to your child about other people who may not be able to wear cloth face coverings for medical reasons (e.g., asthma).
  • As a family, model wearing cloth face coverings, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible.
  • If you have a young child, help build their comfort wearing a cloth face covering and become comfortable seeing others in face covers.
  • Praise your child for wearing a cloth face covering correctly.
  • Put a cloth face covering on stuffed animals.
  • Draw a cloth face covering on a favorite book character.
  • Show images of other children wearing cloth face coverings.
  • Allow your child to choose their cloth face covering that meets any dress requirements your school may have.

Suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Consider providing your child with a container (e.g., labeled re-sealable bag) to bring to school to store their cloth face coverings when not wearing it (e.g., when eating).