Masks Update - April 5, 2021

JEFCOED Family, 

As many of you are aware the state health order concerning masks and face coverings expires this Friday, April 9th.  

While cases in our schools continue to fall weekly, I do not believe we are to a point where we can relax our restrictions or let down our guard.  We will continue to require masks for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors until the end of the 2020-2021 school year.  This includes traditional school and any other school-sponsored events such as graduation ceremonies.  No decision has been made about summer programs or the next school year. 

I believe this is the best and safest course of action to protect our faculty, staff, and students. Many of our teachers received their second COVID-19 vaccine today, Monday, April 5th.  They will not reach maximum immunity until April 19th.  We also have many other employees who have had COVID-19 this school year and will not have an opportunity to get a shot until later in the semester.  The majority of our students are also still ineligible to receive a vaccine.  When you consider all of these factors and that we are only weeks away from the end of the school year, the benefits of keeping the mask requirement far outweigh any negatives.  

Throughout much of this semester, we have seen a steady decline in our positive cases.  I want that trend to continue.  As the Alabama Department of Public Health reminded everyone last week, face masks remain one of the most successful tools in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19.  You should also know that I have spent several hours meeting with doctors and experts in our local health community, and all of them feel this is the right course of action.

This has been the most difficult school year in my 27 years in education, but we’re almost to the finish line!  Please do your part to help us finish this school year safely.  I want us to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Finish safe.  Finish strong.  Mask up.

Sincerely,

Dr. Walter Gonsoulin