There is a simple three-step process to get a mask exemption for your child:
Step One: Secure your Mask Exemption
You must receive documentation from a "medical provider" that grants an exemption which clearly indicates your child's name/birthdate, and the name/licensing authority of the provider. No further explanation or diagnosis is required.
The medical provider does NOT need to be a medical doctor.
- Speech Pathologists
- Respiratory Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Massage Therapists
- Athletic Trainers
- Physician Assistants
Again, the medical provider need not be a physician. They need only fall into one of above categories and be currently licensed by the State of Idaho. Medical exemptions have already been accepted from chiropractors, nurses, and child psychologists among others.
When contacting the provider, be clear that you're seeking a mask exemption letter. You may be required to have an in-person examination and pay for the visit. Let the provider know that CDH guidelines indicate that an exemption can be granted on either "medical or mental health" needs, but no formal explanation or diagnosis should be included in the document itself. Moreover, HIPAA restrictions forbid any inquiry into the underlying assessment; the school nurse is not allowed to share the letter with outside third parties.
Here is an example exemption that was successfully filed.
You can also provide this Word Document to the medical provider as a base template for them to fill out.
Step Two: File your Exemption with the School Nurse
Your exemption should be filed via email with the School Nurse to take immediate effect. Simply send the nurse an email with your exemption attached, and that's that. Do not send the exemption to the school administrators; these are medical concerns managed by HIPAA rules regarding medical privacy.
Remember that the nurses have a job to do beyond processing exemption forms; be patient, be kind, and be appreciative of their efforts. This is a process, not a protest, and the nurses are just following West Ada policy.
Step Three: Send your Child to School Mask-Free with a Courtesy Notice
This step is purely optional, but will assist your child in navigating the school environment itself and will support our teachers; they deserve the courtesy.
In Elementary School it's a good idea to email the teacher in advance indicating that you have a Medical Exemption on file with the school nurse so they can prepare accordingly.
For Middle and High School, download and print this letter which your student can show any teacher or administrator. Again, we support our staff, and they deserve this courtesy.
If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us at email@example.com and we'll do everything we can to help.