When school resumes for the 2020-2021 school year, all staff and students statewide must wear masks or cloth face coverings while in school and while riding a school bus to and from school, according to requirements issued by the state Department of Health and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Here at Tacoma Public Schools, we know getting used to wearing a mask or face covering for an extended period can take time for both adults and students.
Over the summer and leading up to the start of school Sept. 9, we encourage you to begin coaching your child on the mask requirement and gradually build up their mask-wearing time.
This approach will prevent mask-wearing from becoming a shock when school starts and your student can better focus on their learning beginning on the first day of school. Our school days last roughly 6.5 hours, not including time on a bus. And if your student participates in our before or after school Extended Learning Opportunities, the time required to wear a mask or face covering will be even longer.
Let them pick it
Let kids select the color, fabric or style they like best. Decorating is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with the mask integrity.
Make play masks for stuffed animals
Use household materials to make masks for toys, this fun activity can make masks less scary.
Never share and keep it clean
Mask should never be shared or wore when dirty. And cloth masks should be washed after each use.
Wear it properly
Wash your hands before touching your mask. Make sure it covers the nose, mouth and chin. If it becomes difficult to breathe, masks should be easy to remove. And masks are only for kids over two years old.
Be a mask role model
Wear your mask and explain how it keeps you and others safe.
Practice wearing it
Practice putting on and taking off masks. Start at home with short periods of time. Some kids adjust right away, others need more practice. Being consistent and setting goals can help.
About Tacoma Schools
Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...