Face mask RTSA

The Ellsworth School Board met Monday night to discuss a reopening plan draft and the seclusion and restraint 2020-2021 report.

Here is what you need to know:

Reopening plan

A hearing was held to discuss a draft of the district’s 2021-2022 reopening plan, which includes mask requirements and contact tracing.


The current draft does not mandate face coverings in any district building and explains that all students, staff and visitors can choose whether to wear one. However, the draft does state that masks are required on buses.

Many members of the community expressed their displeasure with mask wearing in any circumstance and some said they will not make their children wear one no matter what.

The Centers for Disease Control issued an enforcement order in January and updated it in June that passengers and drivers must wear a mask on public transportation -- including school buses. There are no exceptions.

Contact tracing

Superintendent Barry Cain explained that contact tracing will be for anyone who was within three feet of someone with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer in a 24-hour period. Families will be contacted if their child was in close range and then the family can decide further action. Quarantine will be up to the families’ discretion.

Parents in attendance were pleased with this draft decision.

There will be a special board meeting Aug.16 at 6 p.m. in the elementary school to finalize the reopening plan. The public is encouraged to attend.

Seclusion and restraint report

The district is required to report their yearly seclusion and restraint incidents. Cain explained these actions are taken only when a child is in danger of harming themselves or someone else. If necessary, restraint is used to help the child walk to a seclusion area for a form of time out, which helps calm the child down.

The following is a summary of 2020-2021 report:

  • Ellsworth Elementary School: 26 seclusions, two restraints, three for both at same time

  • Ellsworth Middle School, zero for all three

  • Ellsworth High School, zero for all three

The total number of students involved for all incidents is six.

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