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SACS to hear COVID update; mask policy changes to ‘recommended’ instead of ‘optional’

Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS)
Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS)(SACS)
Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Southwest Allen County school board president Brad Mills says superintendent Park Ginder will give a report at tonight’s board meeting about the latest COVID-19 data.

“We realize that this is an evolving situation, and that at many times this year our plan is going to need to change,” Mills said.

That report will reportedly also explain why wording in the district’s Return to Classroom Plan has changed from having masks optional in schools to having them recommended, to align with the CDC’s latest guidance.

“The goal is to do the right things for the kids in the commuity so that we get the best educational outcome. Health is obviously a part of that, mental health is obviously a part of that,” he said.

“If they’re claiming that the kids’ safety is their number one priority then prove it,” SACS parent Sean Wooldridge said.

Parent of two Wooldridge questions why after more than a year of requiring masks in class, the district isn’t requiring them now when the highly contagious delta variant is spreading so quickly.

“Change one word, change it from recommended to required. That way we’ll have the backing of the school board and people will be under some obligation to protect not only my kids but other kids whether they’re vulnerable or not. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.

But he acknowledges that there are many parents on the no mask side of the debate… Something the board president says has been a fine line to walk.

“I’ve had parents on each side of the issue, people crying and they absolutely believe wholeheartedly that we should be wearing masks and that we shouldn’t be wearing masks on each side. And people believe in their heart that they’re right,” Mills said.

Mills says if a board member wants to propose requiring masks for students, that could happen tonight.

Superintendent Ginder is expected to update the board every month on the COVID situation.

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