The Teton School District 401 Board of Trustees updated the existing COVID plan with about two dozen new words to clarify that students and staff can take off masks when outside as long as they can physically distance by six feet. The board came to a consensus on the language after a three-hour special meeting on Monday night (April 19th).

During the discussion, the school board reviewed the results of a survey sent last week to staff, parents, and students; 1,695 responses were received. Trustees also reviewed a staff-specific analysis and heard from the three K-5 principals, Angela Hoopes, president of the district’s certified teachers union, and Megan Bybee, director of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment for TSD 401.

The exact new language, highlighted in blue within the plan, modifies one bullet point under Expectations and Norms, which appears several times within the plan document (highlighted in yellow), and adds an additional bullet for clarification:

  • Wear face coverings in public when physical distancing is not possible, on the playground, or outside school areas.
  • Removal of face coverings is permitted outdoors, when physical distancing by 6 ft is possible (*updated 4/19/21).

The link to the existing Combined Reopening Plan, which applies to all schools, was sent with the survey. It is posted on the district’s website on the landing page of COVID-19 Updates ( The direct link to the plan is:

The survey, its results (with all 576 comments within the responses), public comment and the staff-only analysis, are available on the website in the Board Documents folder for last night’s meeting, at

The meeting was broadcast on the district’s YouTube channel and can be reviewed in its entirety at: (Board discussion begins about 10½ minutes into the video.)