The Office of Head Start has implemented a new rule stating that effective November 30th, all Head Start programs will require universal masking for all individuals two years of age and older, and all Head Start staff, contractors, and volunteers working in classrooms or directly with children to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by January 31, 2022.
JETS will implement the mask rule as of Wednesday December 1st requiring all individuals entering our premises to wear a mask. In compliance with the federally mandated rule, all individuals working with children will be fully vaccinated as of Tuesday February 1st.
What this means for our families:
Children 2 & up will need to wear masks.
Masks will not be worn during meals, nap, or outdoor time
Adults dropping off or picking up children must wear a mask.
Adults may no longer wait in the halls or classrooms until class begins unless proof of vaccination is presented to JETS HR.
Parents and Volunteers will need to sign a new or updated copy of their respective handbooks once they have been updated to reflect the federally mandated rule. TBA
Why the Masks and Vaccinations?
Head Start believes that vaccination of all staff, contractors, and volunteers is necessary to promote and protect program participants and ensure program continuity.
Are there any exceptions?
There are exceptions under the following conditions:
Those for whom a vaccine is medically contraindicated,
Those for whom medical necessity requires a delay in vaccination*
Those who are legally entitled to an accommodation with regard to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on an applicable federal law.
Any other requests for exemptions by staff, contractors, or volunteers who cannot be vaccinated because of a disability under the ADA, medical condition, or sincerely held religious beliefs, practice, or observance may in some circumstances be granted an exemption. Requests for exemptions based on an applicable federal law must be documented and evaluated in accordance with applicable federal law and each program's policies and procedures**.
*This exception to the rule applies to JETS Staff and the January 31st deadline.
**Due to the sudden implementation of the mandated rule, JETS policies and procedures will need to be revised by addendum and approved by JETS Policy Council and Board of Directors before exemptions can be taken into consideration.
For more information on the Office of Head Start's decision to mandated masks and vaccinations you may view the following list of links for more in depth answers to any questions you might have.
You can also contact JETS Human Resources by
calling (325) 574-8676 or
Federal Register: Vaccine and Mask Requirements; Rule
President Biden: Keeping Schools Safely Open
Head Start | ECLKC: OHS COVID-19 Updates
Head Start | ECLKC: New Standards for Vaccination and Masking