At its regular meeting, the USD 470 Board of Education voted to extend the current mask requirement through September 27. The decision to continue requiring masks was made based on several important factors:
– Our primary goal is to keep our students safely learning in person each day.
– Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine and a significant portion of eligible students remain unvaccinated.
– Based on CDCs contact tracing guidance, if an unmasked student tests positive, nearby students must quarantine, even if they were wearing masks. However, if both the positive case and the contacts are masked, the contacts may stay in school. USD 470 will apply this to staff members who might be close contacts too.
– Our recent mask requirement has significantly reduced the number of students missing school due to “close contact” quarantine.
– The CDC, KDHE, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a mask requirement for student and staff safety, and as a way to help schools remain open.