Masks will be recommended but not required starting Dec. 23, 2021
Kearney, Mo., December 13, 2021: The Kearney School District Board of Education approved unanimously a revised 2021-2022 Return to School Plan during a special session this evening at the Administrative Offices.
The revised plan was recommended by Interim Superintendent Todd White for approval by the school board. Dr. White explained that district administrators have been in the process of reviewing and revising the district’s return-to-school plan in response to both input from stakeholders and the recent Cole County Circuit Court’s ruling in Robinson v. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which will take effect on Dec. 23, 2021.
Under the revised plan, universal indoor masking is recommended but not required in all KSD buildings starting on Dec. 23. Face masks are still required on school buses per federal mandate.
From the beginning of the current school year, the district’s mitigation steps were determined by the need to protect the health and wellness of students, staff and visitors, while simultaneously ensuring that in-person classes can continue uninterrupted. Universal indoor masking was a critical mitigation step because it helped keep kids in school in accordance with the county’s COVID-19 quarantine mandate.
“Public health authorities provided an exception that said if everyone is wearing a mask, then they would not qualify as a close contact. That matched up well with our goal to have in-person classes,” Dr. White said. “What has changed in that timeframe is the ability of a local health agency to mandate a quarantine.”
The Board of Education will review and renew the Return to School Plan on a monthly basis moving forward. The revised plan and related COVID-19 updates are available at www.ksdr1.net/covid-19-updates.