Wichita Public Schools, BOE wait for Aug. 9 meeting to decide on masks

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - When Wichita students return to the classroom in two weeks, they may need to have a mask on.

Right now, mask-wearing is optional, but the Wichita Public Schools says there’s a decent chance that could change in the coming weeks.

Following CDC guidance, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly now recommends all teachers and students mask up this school year.

The district says it will spend the next few days making changes to its safety plan. Once that’s done, the changes will be available for parents to read. Then, on Aug. 9, the Wichita School Board will vote on whether to accept the plan.

“This year, we have the infrastructure in place. This year, we have the masks available. This year, we have the cleaning supplies available,” said WPS Safety and Environmental Director Terri Moses. “So, the ability for us to put the decision-making off because we have those supplies exists.”

School board member Ron Rosales says the board will most likely reinstate the mask requirement. Member Mia Turns says she will go by whatever the CDC recommends.

“I have to vote what I believe is the right thing to do.. so no, making a decision is not hard for me. I already know everyone is not going to be happy whichever way we vote,” said Turner.

Moses whatever decision is made, they won’t be able to please all parents.

“We appreciate hearing from our parents. We want them to know we’re listening to them. But we want them to understand we can’t make both sides of this issue happy,” she said.

Moses said taking time the time to research and wait until Aug. 9 board vote will hopefully, prevent them from making last-minute changes later in the school year.

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