Clark-Shawnee schools extends mask mandate through Oct. 1

Clark-Shawnee schools has extended its masking requirement through Oct. 1. Here, students and teachers got to know each other in August on the first day of school at Shawnee Elementary. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Clark-Shawnee schools has extended its masking requirement through Oct. 1. Here, students and teachers got to know each other in August on the first day of school at Shawnee Elementary. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Clark-Shawnee Local Schools will extend the mask requirement for students and staff through Oct. 1.

The school board approved the mask extension this week.

“This was a difficult decision for the board of education to make. As we’ve shared with our community many times, we believe it is critically important for our students to be at school in person as much as possible. This is important not just for their educational progress, but for their mental health and social-emotional development,” Superintendent Brian Kuhn said in a release.

Kuhn said when school started without a mask requirement, the district quickly saw many students missing school due to quarantine. This is when the board approved the temporary mask requirement through Sept. 17.

“The masking requirement has been effective so far in reducing the number of students missing school due to quarantine,” he said. “Our percentage of students quarantined has decreased from 18% on Aug. 31 to 2% on Sept. 14.”

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Clark-Shawnee reported 41 positive and 62 quarantined cases for the week of Sept. 4-10, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Since there have been fewer quarantines with masking, the board extended the mask requirement through the month.

“Because of these results, the Board of Education elected to extend the mask requirement through Oct. 1. During this time, we will continue to pursue other options and avenues for keeping our students safely learning in person together as much as possible,” Kuhn said.

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