Mask Non-Compliance Protocol

Mask Non-Compliance and/or Exclusion Protocol (draft 9/1/2020)


Face masks are an effective measure to take in preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially when used in combination with hand washing and social distancing. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes and/or talks; these droplets can land in another person’s mouth, eyes or nose, or be inhaled into the lungs. A large portion of people may be infected with COVID-19 and not have symptoms (asymptomatic); masks can protect the general public by containing the respiratory droplets of an infected person who is asymptomatic, therefore reducing the spread. Per the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Needham Public Schools guidelines, all staff and students in grades K-12 are required to wear a face mask. However, there may be students or staff who are unable to wear a face mask in the following situations:


Those students and/or staff with disability or safety impact


If a student or staff member is unable to wear a face mask due to the reason listed above, the following steps should be taken:



- The parent should notify the school nurse with the reason for their student’s inability to wear a mask.

- The nurse will maintain a list of students who are exempt from wearing a face mask.

- The nurse will share the list with the appropriate teacher(s) and Assistant Principal.

- Parents will be notified that if their student becomes ill during the school day, their student will be provided with a medical face mask, and will be monitored until they are dismissed.

- The nurse will evaluate whether a medical 504 is indicated.

- If non-compliance is not due to disability or safety impact, or otherwise noted on a student's IEP, individual efforts will be made to preview/review mask protocols with the student using strategies in this Mask Protocol Worksheet for Fall 2020.  Furthermore, the parent/guardian will be called, the Assistant Principal will be notified, and the student will be dismissed.


In some circumstances, students who have difficulty wearing masks due to sensory reasons and may be able to learn to wear a mask, teachers may have the student slowly and gradually increase mask tolerance.




- If a staff member is unable to wear a face mask due to disability or safety impact reasons, they should notify their immediate supervisor and Human Resources.

- The staff member should consider wearing a face shield, (if able), and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other staff and students.

- If a staff member becomes ill during the school day, and they are unable to leave the building right away, they will be asked to isolate from students and staff and will be provided with a medical mask until they can safely leave the building.

- If a staff member refuses to wear a mask, and does not have an exemption, the building administrator will be called, Human Resources will be notified, and the staff member will need to leave the building.


Draft 9/1/20
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