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EVSC reveals mask rules for upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 2:44 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Several details of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s back-to-school plan have been on its website, but Thursday, Superintendent Dr. David Smith discussed mask rules.

[Previous: EVSC working on back-to-school plans as Delta cases rise]

Dr. Smith says the large spike in numbers over the past few days is cause for alarm.

However, school leaders are going to follow the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and masks will be recommended but not required.

14 News spoke with one parent with two kids at an EVSC elementary school.

“The standpoint of a child, if they’re given the option, they’re probably going to want to take it off,” parent Erin Johnson shared.

Bus drivers and riders will still have to wear a mask because of a federal transportation mandate.

Dr. Smith says as things change, rules are subject to change.

The EVSC heads back to class in a little more than two weeks. Different groups start on different days during the week of August 9.

All students will be back by August 13.

The EVSC does have a virtual academy option open to students.

Short-term remote learning will also be available for those in quarantine or test positive for COVID-19.

”We don’t have the luxury or the benefit of what universities have where they can mandate or require vaccinations, or they can learn off-campus through virtual learning,” Dr. Smith said. “We do have virtual learning, certainly in the K-12 scenario, but we’re doing the best we can balancing the needs of our students from an educational perspective, as well as mitigation strategies to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

Students should expect social distancing of at least three feet, along with lots of handwashing.

EVSC is asking caretakers to continue to do health screenings. COVID teams will continue to be in all schools.

Johnson said her kids aren’t vaccinated because they aren’t old enough yet. She says because classrooms are spaced three feet apart and masks are optional, it’s a concern for her.

“It does kind of give me concern about if there is a child that does get the virus, they’re going to be in close proximity to everybody, where it’s going to be a higher risk this year, especially with all of these cases that are on the rise now,” Johnson said. “So at this time, I plan for my kids to still continue to wear a mask.”

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