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School leaders in Nixa, Mo. decide masking policy for 2021-2022 school year

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 3:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2021 at 3:13 PM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - The Nixa School Board decided against a mandatory masking policy to begin the 2021-2022 school year. But case count could reverse the policy.

The district will allow students to make the decision to mask or not. However, district leaders say if 7% of students test positive and are quarantined, school leaders will require masks again.

Here’s how the district’s Level 1 plan works:

  • School activities will be as normal as possible
  • Social distancing will be used when possible
  • Masks are optional in all situations for students and staff (unless mandated by state or federal order). The district may require visitors to use masks.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing is a priority for the safety of all students and staff.
  • Visitors to buildings will be restricted or limited
  • Hand washing/hand sanitizer will be available and frequently encouraged

In a survey conducted by the school district, 30% of parents believe masks should be optional and never mandated. And 30% believe masks should be optional and only mandated if needed. And 33% believe the school should require masks while inside buildings.

“I think the decision today was really hard,” said School board President Linda Daugherty. “I think that, you know could go either way. And I think that our board really reflects our community. I think the most important thing is that we want to keep children safe, and we want to keep schools open”

The school board heard from a number of parents both for and against masking before they made a decision. One parent stated he believed masks should only be mandated for children who are too young to get the vaccine. Another tearfully stated her child asked her not to send him to school to spend another year with a mask on his face.

Ultimately parents and school board members want students to be in school physically five days a week and want to do what is necessary to keep from going virtual.

Read more about the district’s plan here: https://www.nixapublicschools.net/covid19

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