Parker Goes Mask Optional

Dan Frank Announces in Email to School


Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

Parker Goes Mask Optional – Dan Frank Announces in Email to School

On March 4, Principal Dan Frank and School Nurses Anne Nelson and Shelby Turner sent an email to the entire Parker community announcing that, effective March 7, Parker would transition to a “mask optional” environment. With this new rule, students, faculty and staff would be able to be inside the Parker building without a face covering for the first time since March 13, 2020.

While the email listed a number of changes to the COVID-19 policies and procedures, such as discontinuing the daily RUVNA health screening, certain requirements will remain in place. These include masking following Covid-19 exposure or diagnosis for 10 day and requiring all visitors to campus, including Parker parents and guardians, to present proof of vaccination, a negative test, or a positive Covid-19 diagnosis within the last 90 days.

The decision to transition to a “mask optional” indoor environment followed the February 28 implementation of an outdoor “mask optional” environment for all students. The changes to masking requirements apply regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

Linked within the email were additional changes to Parker’s coronavirus procedures mostly related to parent and guardian access to Parker’s campus. Visitor access has been tightly limited throughout the pandemic. The decision to welcome parents and guardians back to campus without a specific meeting or event marks a significant change in Parker’s coronavirus approach. The new procedure does not, however, fully return to the pre-covid open campus environment. Parents and guardians are prohibited from being in any classroom hallways before 9am. This divergence from the open access to the rest of the campus was not explained in the policy.

A theme repeated throughout the announcement was a need to respect those members of the community who continue to mask, both indoors and outdoors. “It’s great that the Parker community is going mask optional, as it accommodates to everyone’s desires,” said Junior Lucas R Daskal

Masking does, however, remain a possibility despite the general policy change. Students were advised to carry a mask at all times and be prepared to wear it upon request or in large group gatherings.