Hart district: wearing masks indoors required, mandatory vaccination isn’t

The William S. Hart Union High School District. Dan Watson/The Signal
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During a Wednesday governing board meeting, William S. Hart Union High School District officials re-emphasized the main points of their 2021-22 back-to-school plan, saying masks would be required indoors, while showing a proof of vaccination would not be.  

Superintendent Mike Kuhlman announced at a previous meeting the district would follow county and state health guidelines that require masks for both students and teachers while indoors. He reiterated during Wednesday’s meeting the district’s required stance on universal indoor mask-wearing. Kuhlman also addressed a number of “rumors” he’d heard circulating. 

“It appears that some within the community may have drawn the erroneous conclusion that this item (referring to the school board’s meeting agenda) is part of a plan to mandate vaccinations and testing for all students in the Hart district,” said Kuhlman. “The Hart district has no current plans to implement a required testing program similar to what was recently announced by (Los Angeles Unified School District) for students and staff.” 

The up to $3.4 million in grant funded reimbursements is designed to fund and administer a contract with the Los Angeles County Office of Education to develop and implement school-based COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics from 2020-23, the board agenda read. 

Kuhlman said the funds would be used for any potential exposure incident on any one of the district’s campuses or facilities.  

“These funds will allow us to respond appropriately and to provide testing resources as they become necessary,” said Kuhlman.  

The superintendent went on to a second rumor that stemmed from a email distributed by district technological staff and sent to all teachers informing them of what technological service contracts will be available in the coming year, and what will not be due to them having been a temporary tool used during COVID-19.  

“It appears that some within the community have drawn the erroneous conclusion that this is some indication the district is actively preparing for the imminent return of mandated online learning,” said Kuhlman. “Well, we can never speak with absolute finality about what the future of COVID holds for our district and our community. I can personally attest that there has been no conversation about us reverting to a fully online platform.” 

Kuhlman said the district looks forward to restarting the school year Tuesday at five days a week, and that the district was focused on re-establishing the “full complement of programs and activities” historically available to students.  

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