FAQ #1: Face Mask Requirements in District 186 Schools

(SEA Members: Feel free to leave any comments below.)


  1. Who will be providing masks for students? (answered)
  2. Is there a solid plan for issuing masks? (addressed/no specifics)
  3. Will GOOD masks be provided? (not addressed)
  4. Will students be allowed to wear personal masks? (not addressed)
  5. How will we ensure that student masks are cleaned and disinfected daily? (not addressed)
  6. What is the disposal method for contaminated masks? (not addressed)

District 186 Responses:

  • “All staff and students will receive a cloth mask that can be washed and reused. Disposable masks will be available if someone does not have a mask. All schools will be guaranteed to have the supply that they need without having to wait to receive additional supplies.” (RTL Plan, p. 10)
  • “Disposable masks are readily available at all schools and will be restocked as needed.” (RTL Plan, p. 13)
  • “Students who do not have a mask or forget theirs at home will be provided one at school.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)



  1. Will face masks be mandatory in all District 186 school buildings? (answered)
  2. Will face masks be mandatory on all First Student school buses? (addressed/no specifics)
  3. Will staff and students be required to wear masks during PE? If so what about staff and students who would have a hard time breathing with a mask on due to medical reasons? (not addressed)
  4. You cannot have a mask on while eating, how will everyone remain protected when masks are off to eat breakfast or lunch? (not addressed)
  5. Will some students or adults be allowed to be exempt from wearing a face mask? (not addressed)
  6. What documentation, if any, will students and staff need to be exempt from wearing a mask? (not addressed)
  7. What are the policies at the early elementary level, particularly in special education when students may or may not tolerate masks? (not addressed)
  8. Will staff who cannot medically tolerate wearing a mask still be allowed to teach in the building? (not addressed)

District 186 Responses:

  • “All staff and students are required to wear face masks at school and on school buses.” (RTL Plan, p. 10)
  • “All school buildings will have signs regarding face masks requirements and social distancing requirements and other safety procedures that are consistent across all school buildings.” (RTL Plan, p. 12)
  • “All visitors will be required to wear face masks at District schools and buildings. Appointments will be required and visitors will only be allowed in the office. We will have extra masks on hand to provide to visitors in the event they forget to bring one of their own.” (RTL Plan, p. 11)
  • “Students will be allowed to remove masks if outside and social distancing is maintained.” (RTL Plan, p. 17)
  • “Students will be required to wear masks on buses.” (RTL Plan, p. 17)



  1. How will the requirement to wear face masks in District 186 schools be enforced? (addressed/no specifics)
  2. What consequences will be in place for students refusing to correctly wear masks? Will students automatically be sent home if they refuse to wear their masks properly? (addressed/no specifics)
  3. What happens if students remove their masks and sneeze/cough/spit on other students or teachers on purpose? (not addressed)
  4. Will District 186 staff members be sent home for refusing to wear a face mask around work colleagues? (not addressed)
  5. Will employees have back-up at the District level for students/parents who refuse to wear face masks on buses and in our school buildings? (not addressed)
  6. Can we refuse to have a student in our classroom who does not wear a mask or wear it properly? (Obviously some students may have a medical exemption for the masks, but I am not talking about those students) (addressed/no specifics)
  7. Will additional security guards be hired to make sure parents/students do not enter without masks? (not addressed)

District 186 Responses:

  • “District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill said there is not a set punishment in place for those who refuse to wear a mask, but the expectation to wear one is still there.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)
  • “If someone refuses to wear a mask, the district will take the next steps required. However, Gill said those are teachable moments for students on why wearing a mask is so important.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)
  • ““We certainly don’t want this to become an issue where it’s a yelling match or a screaming match or a disciplinary, you know, ‘you’ve got to go home’ match,” Gill said.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)
  • “According to the District, all incidents will be treated on an individual basis.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)
  • “Currently, District 186 is still working on an enforcement plan or some form of punishment if a student refuses to wear a mask in school.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)
  • “Gill said staff will use signs and cues during the school day to remind students about the importance of wearing one.” (newschannel20.com, 7/27/20)



  1. Are teachers limited to wearing only face masks or are face shields an option? (addressed)
  2. I heard that teachers will be required to wear both a mask and face shield. What about the foreign language teachers? Students are required to speak in the target language being taught, pronunciation is one of the biggest factors, how will students be able to imitate sound(s) and mouth movements instructed by the teacher wearing both a mask and a face shield? (not addressed)
  3. Lanphier doesn’t have air conditioning in some of the classrooms in the Edison wing. Will you expect teachers to use classrooms on that side of the building wearing masks? (not addressed)
  4. Also teaching Lower grades letters/sounds…when they can’t see our faces due to masks- how will that work? (not addressed)

District 186 Responses:

  • “We are cognizant that Personal Protective Equipment, extra supplies, clear face masks and gowns where needed are extremely important for our employees to allow them to serve students in a manner that is safe and meets the individual student’s learning goals.” (RTL Plan, p. 17)