Thank you for your patience in the delay of communication regarding Freedom's mask policy change. We felt it was important for us to take the appropriate time to share this information with our teachers and support staff before releasing it to the community.
This academic year has been filled with incredibly challenging decisions that have all the potential to frustrate and divide our community - regardless of our direction. We have continued to work with our community, local health officials, and experts in multiple fields to make decisions that best support our ability to keep our students and families safe while providing our children with the high quality education and care that our families depend on, and our educators are proud of.
None of these decisions have been taken lightly, and many have come after weeks or months of painstaking research.
We appreciate our families supporting and trusting us as we brave challenges no one expected to face - especially in our schools.
After Governor Ducey's unexpected lifting of the school mask mandate last week, our school board and school officials revisited our school mitigation plan. With the support of local physicians, we analyzed the potential impact of relieving the school mask mandate on our campus through the lens of our current local benchmarks, state and national guideline, as well as best practices.
After careful review, it was very clear that while the debate regarding the efficacy of mask wearing, especially for children, is not ours to resolve, the decision for any of our students to wear a mask on our campus should be that of our students and their families.
Starting today, we will no longer require masks or other face coverings for our students on our Freedom Academy campus.
However, any member of the community who wishes to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so. We will never discourage mask wearing, and we do expect that members of our community will respect individuals' rights, and one another, as we work to best support our learners for the remainder of the academic school year.
The remainder of our school mitigation plan - temperature checks, separate recess groups, increased hand washing and sanitizing, and the additional sanitization efforts of our custodial crew will all remain in place for the remainder of the academic year. We also ask that you continue to keep your student home if they are sick.
With this change to our campus mitigation, we will continue to restrict campus visitors and volunteers through the remainder of the academic year.
We also encourage families to understand the strong emotions behind such a decision for other members of the community. Just as when we opened our campus doors for students in August, we are asking that families respect the views of other members of our Freedom family as they make choices that best support the needs of their child and family.
This has been a year that has required that we come together - a strength of the Freedom community. Unfortunately, this hasn't been a year where we've been able to come together for our school shows, games, or community nights like we normally do, but we have done an incredible job of coming together to support our students, our school, and one another.
This is another opportunity for our campus community to show its strength and come together to support a healthy learning environment for the little time that we have left in this academic year.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about the changes to our policy.
Jen Cavalcant & Mike Waypa
Freedom Leadership Team
Mitigation Plan 2020-2021
Distance Learning Plan