Stepenosky speaks on changes in mask policy

Stepenosky speaks on changes in mask policy

On March 14, LVUSD students and staff reported to a mask-optional campus for the first time since March of 2020. The mask-optional policy also applies to all school events, including theater performances and sports competitions.

In addition to masking policies, other changes to COVID policy may be instituted; under current LVUSD mandates, unvaccinated staff are required to test weekly. Current county guidelines require student-athletes participating in high-risk indoor sports and moderate-risk sports to test weekly as well. It is unclear as to whether this will change.

“Those are things [the district is] trying to get some clarity on from state and county guidelines,” said Dr. Dan Stepenosky, LVUSD Superintendent.

In terms of exposure, unvaccinated students deemed as close contacts in a classroom without masks will have to mask for ten days and test on day five. Vaccinated close contacts will not be required to do so, in accordance with state guidelines. County guidelines have not yet been released.

“For positive persons, nothing would change,” said Melissa Foster, District School Nurse. “[Positive students must] test on day five, and if [they are] negative, [they] can return on day six, regardless of vaccine status. I do think that person would have to mask from days six to ten [according to state guidelines].”

Dr. Stepenosky emphasizes respect and kindness moving into the mask-optional period. He reminds students and staff to be mindful of family circumstances and avoid judgment.

“I’m super appreciative of staff and students always taking this seriously,” said Dr. Stepenosky. “Me personally, I’m excited to be heading into mask-optional, but the most important thing really for everybody is just to be […] supportive. We want students to be kind to each other and not pressure each other in any way because [they] never know what’s going on with [their peers] in the family.

Testing will continue to be available for students and staff, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Agoura High on Mondays, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at CHS on Wednesdays and 3:00-6:30 p.m. at the district office on Thursdays. Appointments can be made online.

“The District will continue to be ready with the resources, supplies and appropriate PPE to quickly respond to any changes or adaptations that come from our partners at the [Los Angeles County Department of Public Health],” said Dr. Stepenosky in a community announcement.