How metro Denver school districts differ on COVID-19 mask rules

Some require them inside schools; others recommend them

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Colorado's public-health department released new K-12 school COVID-19 guidelines in late July, but the new guidance “does not constitute statewide requirements,” a state news release said. Instead, the guidance outlines “best practices” for local governments and school districts.

With Tri-County Health Department and the state deciding not to require masks, the choice of whether to mandate masks has fallen to school districts. Here's a look at what other school districts are doing:

• In Denver Public Schools, masks will be required for all students, visitors and staff while in all schools and buildings, regardless of vaccination status, according to the district's website.

• In Aurora Public Schools, masks will be strongly recommended for all students who are unvaccinated, according to the district's website. All staff who are vaccinated will not be required to wear face masks at schools and district sites. All staff members who are unvaccinated will be required to wear masks in the workplace.

• In the Douglas County School District, masks will be “strongly encouraged” for students 11 and younger when learning indoors. The same is true for students 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated. Masks will not be required.

Jeffco Public Schools will require in-school masking for ages 3 through 11. For students age 12 and above, masks indoors are strongly recommended for unvaccinated students and recommended for vaccinated students in alignment with guidance from Jefferson County Public Health, according to a news release.

Littleton Public Schools is planning to start the 2021-22 school year without a mask requirement. Schools will practice physical distancing as much as is possible without disrupting the learning environment.

• In Englewood Schools, the district announced Aug. 4 that the wearing of masks by all students, visitors and staff inside its schools will be required this fall, regardless of whether a person is vaccinated for COVID-19 or not.

• For the Adams County area: In Adams 12 Five Star Schools, masks are recommended for all students, regardless of vaccination status, but are not required. 27J Schools (Brighton area) will also not require students to wear masks indoors. But in Westminster Public Schools, all students, staff and teachers will be required to wear masks when indoors. Students in all three school districts are required to wear masks on buses.

Source: Colorado Community Media staff reporting.

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