St. Monica will be requiring face masks for all the staff, students and visitors entering the school building this school year. According to the CDC, wearing a face mask can decrease the community spread of Covid-19 by at least 40%. With that in mind, we would like to share with you what type of face masks and coverings are acceptable.
Homemade face masks, surgical masks and gaiters or buffs as pictured, are acceptable. They may have prints, colors or patterns on them. Prints or patterns must be appropriate for a catholic school and should not endorse a company logo. Any face covering that is offensive, insensitive or inappropriate will be removed and the student will be given an appropriate mask to replace it.
Masks that are not acceptable are classified as vented masks. These masks may have a mesh area to make breathing easier or they may have a round port that claims to filter the air. This type of mask does filter the air that a person breathes in, but does not filter air being expelled allowing for aerosolized droplets to escape.
Helping your child wear a mask. Sometimes masks can geel uncomfortable or hard to breath in. They can be hot to wear over a period of time and feel confining. We are working on innovative ways at St. Monica so students can have breaks throughout the day from their masks, but there are some ways that you can help make the situation more tolerable for your child.
Make a mask personal by letting the child choose the color or pattern of the material. Kids can also decorate the mask with fabric markers or tye dye. Let your child pick a mask that they find to be comfortable and fits well.
Use buttons attached to a headband so the mask loops can fit over the buttons, instead of the ears.
Explain why it is important to wear a mask in simple language.
Practice putting on and taking off a mask, stressing that it’s important not to touch the area where your mouth would touch.
If your child becomes annoyed, validate his or her feelings. “I understand that this makes you upset and angry….I don’t like the situation either, but we're going to get through this. “This is not forever.”
The superhero method. If superheroes can wear masks, so can children. Be like a superhero this fall.
Give your child the opportunity to practice wearing a mask around the house or on short errands. Increase the time each day as we get closer to the start of school to help build tolerance.
Most importantly, practice what you preach. Let your child see you wearing a mask.