Mask Optional Plan

Updated February 16, 2022

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Updated February 10, 2022. Effective February 21, 2022.

Union Academy developed Health and Safety protocols to support a safe and healthy school environment for the 2021-2022 school year. We have taken guidance from the CDC and the Union County Health Department, along with the Strong Schools Toolkit. This plan will help reduce the risk of spread at Union Academy, and will allow our students to attend in person learning.

General Campus Information

Masks/Face Coverings

  • Beginning December 10 at 3pm masks/face coverings are optional while at school.

  • Union Academy keeps masks available for free to give anyone that may need one.

  • Masks will be required in the Health Room.

  • Union Academy School Board will vote at every School Board meeting regarding the mask policy: if masks will be required or optional.

Cleaning & Sanitation Practices

  • HVAC:

    • All of the HVAC units at Union Academy have been equipped with iWave air purifiers. These purifiers reduce bacteria and viruses in the air. More information can be found on their website at:

  • Hygiene

    • Teach/reinforce healthy hygiene habits, including handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    • Incorporate frequent handwashing and sanitation breaks into classroom activity, including before and after lunch and recess.

    • Clean each classroom daily.

    • Sanitize classrooms after a positive classroom case has been discovered.

    • Water bottle refilling stations are located throughout the school.

  • Social Distancing

    • Union Academy will encourage social distancing of students (3’-6’) as much as possible during the school day.

Health Personnel

  • We have two full time nurses on staff.

  • All school staff have PPE available to them: glasses, masks, desk shields, etc.

  • Masks will be required while in the Health Room.

COVID-19 Protocol

Students Should Stay Home If:

  • They have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms, until they meet criteria for return.

  • They have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, until they meet requirements for return.

  • Union Academy follows the NC Strong Schools Toolkit for symptoms and return to school requirements.

Handling a suspected Case of COVID-19

If a student is suspected/presumed/confirmed positive throughout the course of the school day, they will go to the nurse office to be evaluated and placed in the isolation room until a parent can pick them up.

Safely Returning to School:

Confirmed Positive COVID Case

Isolation is required for all presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Exposures to Covid

Individual contact tracing and exclusion from school after an identified exposure (regardless of location of exposure) is no longer recommended statewide in K-12 schools, effective February 21, 2022.

Although exclusion from school is no longer recommended following an exposure, when a COVID-19 case is identified in the school setting:

  • People who have been notified of an exposure should:
  • Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after the last known exposure, unless an exemption to face covering applies.
  • Be tested immediately if symptomatic, and on day 5 after exposure, unless the person tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

Schools should follow the recommendations of their local public health department regarding quarantine. Local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last in the communities they serve, based on local conditions and needs.

Student, Family, and Staff Support

This pandemic has caused stress on staff and students. Prolonged absences, fear of the unknown, and deaths related to COVID-19 have been a variety of stressors on our school community.

Here are some tips to help address your family’s social and emotional needs:

Share age-appropriate information with students and correct misinformation.

Reassure children that they are safe and that adults are working to keep them safe.

Emphasize ways children and families can be “germ-busters” and reduce the spread of illness.

Try to keep routines as normal as possible.

Limit the amount of exposure to television and social media regarding COVID-19.

If a teacher/parent has concerns about their student, they can contact their student’s school counselor.

Teachers and Staff can also utilize our EAP program for free counseling sessions and online resources provided by BCBS.

Available Support Resources outside of Union Academy:

Hope4NC Helpline

Dial 211


2021-2022 Educational Plan- Other Important information

  • Traditional schedule with 100% of students attending in-person school 5 days a week.

  • Allow for remote learning as needed due to COVID positive case or quarantine.

  • Visitors/Volunteers will be allowed on campus and must follow all the safety protocols.

  • Transportation- Parents will still be responsible for providing transportation to and from school.

  • Cafeteria- lunches will be served through our catered lunch system. Students will eat outdoors, in their classrooms, or in the lunch rooms

  • Athletics- We will follow all guidance provided by NCHSAA.

  • After school programs- UA afterschool and homework club will be offered.