In Plattsburg, the school district won't move to a mask requirement until positivity rates reach a threshold
By JAMEY HONEYCUTT
When school opens in Plattsburg, students, faculty, and staff will be recommended to wear masks but the school board stopped short of a mandate.
Clinton County R-III Board of Education President Mark Coulter addressed both the issue and the crowd at the board meeting Wednesday, August 18, and acknowledged how opinions were split and tensions are high everywhere surrounding masks.
"Most people have already made up their minds and little we say or do will change them," Coulter explained. "However, no one above us has made a definitive decision, so it all falls to us on the lowest level, the local level."
After it was apparent that some were unhappy simply to pass the buck and settle on the recommendation of Clinton County Health Department Administrator Blair Shock to simply 'recommend' mask use, a compromise was floated to add an amendment to that recommendation.
While two members, John Thiessen and Steve Garr, wanted a stronger policy, a compromise to activate a mask mandate if positive cases within the district or the school age demographic country-wide hit five percent was ultimately passed by a vote of 4-2. The board is currently short one member, with former president Corey Wilkinson resigning to take a teaching position with the district.
While there will be no mandate that makes students wear masks to begin the year, that five-percent threshold guarantees that masks will be mandated if the number of kids getting sick rises at a later date.
Fiver percent of the children in the district would be roughly 35 students testing positive at any one time. Currently, the number of school age children with COVID in the county is at 20, according to numbers provided by the CDC.
Three concerned citizens spoke during public comment, including one student. Two were against mask mandates and one was for them.
Once a mask mandate threshold is triggered, masks would be required for 30 days before reevaluating the positive cases within the district.
Currently no other district in the county has a mask mandate to open the school year.
PHOTO: Katie Denton address the Clinton County R-III Board of Education on Wednesday regarding possible mask mandates, as board members John Theissen and Steve Garr look on.
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