COVID-19 – Student Exemption of Non-Medical or Cloth Masks
As per the Ministry of Education guidance document (Guide to reopening Ontario’s schools), students in Grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear non-medical or cloth masks (mask) indoors in school, including transportation, in hallways and during classes and on transportation. The Superior North Catholic District School Board is making it mandatory for Grades 1-8 and highly recommended for JK-Sk students to wear non-medical or cloth masks. The Superior North Catholic District School Board recognizes that there are students with medical restrictions (severe breathing difficulties, unable to remove masks on their own, etc.) that may require the student to attend school without the use of a mask.
Student Mask Exemption Requirements
- Any student who requires an exemption from wearing a mask must have a diagnosed medical condition that prohibits its use or partial use.
- The parent/guardian must get a physician’s note authorizing the exemption of wearing a mask.
- The parent/guardian for the student must also fill in the Student Exemption of Non-Medical or Cloth Masks Form (attached) and attach the physician’s note to the form.
- The form must be received by the school prior to the commencement of school.
Note: The Ministry of Education will allow all students wearing a mask indoors to remove them when outdoors.
Once a Student Exemption of Non-Medical or Cloth Masks Form is received by the school the following will occur:
- The Administrator or designate will confirm with the parent or guardian that the form was received.
- The student will receive a note or card from the school that states, “Please be kind to me, my school allows me to not wear a mask”.
- This card can be shown to any school or transportation staff that requests to see it.
Student Exemption of Non-Medical or Cloth Masks Form
This form is to be used whenever a student is unable to wear a non-medical or cloth mask for the duration of the school day or when a student can wear a mask but must remove it when health conditions worsen.
Steps for Mask Exemption:
- The parent or guardian visits a physician who authorizes the exemption through a note.
- Parent or guardian completes the Student Exemption of Non-Medical or Cloth Masks Form and return to the school Administrator or designate along with the physician’s note.
- Your child will receive a note or card from the school that states, “Please be kind to me, my school allows me to not wear a mask”.
- Your child must carry this card with them and show the card to school or transportation staff that request to see it.
My child has medical issues that prohibit the:
- Continuous use (excluding outdoor activities) of a non-medical or cloth mask.
My child has medical issues that require the:
- Periodic removal of a non-medical or cloth mask (excluding outdoor activities) when medical conditions worsen.
Elements of Risk Notice
The risk of health concerns exists when a mask is not worn during a pandemic. Health risks may range from minor influenza-like illness symptoms to severe upper respiratory symptoms. These health concerns from not wearing a mask can occur without fault on either the part of the student, the school board or its employees/agents or the school. The safety and well-being of students is a prime concern and attempts are made to manage, as effectively as possible, the foreseeable risks inherent in the spread of disease in all schools.