Goessel backs down as Peabody requires masks
In a surprising reversal of policy, Goessel’s school board voted Monday to make masks optional for students who start school Thursday.
Superintendent Mark Crawford announced the decision in a video posted on social media Tuesday evening.
Masks are “highly recommended” for those not vaccinated, he said.
“I really believe that vaccination is a powerful tool that we have,” he said.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can have serious consequences in certain people, but break through infections are rare for those who have been vaccinated.
A “high percentage” of the district’s staff and 12-and-older students have been vaccinated, Crawford said.
The district will ask parents for permission to test students for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Crawford said some students and staff still might choose to wear masks indoors, he said.
Meanwhile, Peabody-Burns will require masks for students and staff who return to school today.
“The reason they voted for it was concern for student health,” superintendent Antoinette Root said of the 4-3 vote.
The district will not require eligible students or staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend school.
Marion, Hillsboro and Centre do not require masks in their buildings but require them for students traveling in school vehicles.
Peabody-Burns does not plan to provide on-site testing for the virus, but the school board will re-evaluate its reopening plans every month, Root said.
A total of 16 active cases of COVID-19 were reported in the county as of Tuesday, but only one was listed as delta variant.
Peabody-Burns teachers, eight of whom are new, were working Tuesday to put their classrooms together before today’s start of school, she said.
Staff who requested sneeze guards for their desks will be able to use them when working with students this year.