Maize school board approves temporary mask order for K-6 students, staff

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 8:58 PM CDT
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MAIZE, Kan. (KWCH) - The Maize school board at a special meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, voted in favor of a temporary mask mandate for students and staff in kindergarten through sixth grade, covering the district’s elementary and intermediate schools. The motion also included accepting the recommendation from the Kansas State High School Activities Association to require official approval from a doctor before a student is cleared to return to a sport or activity after testing positive for COVID-19. The mask order starts Wednesday, Sept. 8 and is in effect through Oct. 11, concluding at the end of that day.

The board’s vote to approve the COVID mitigation guidelines passed 5-2. A separate motion to exempt vaccinated elementary school teachers from wearing masks failed but is among considerations the board indicated they could revisit.

As of last Friday, Sept. 3, the Maize school district reported 104 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among students and 20 among staff members. The district also confirmed 648 high-risk close contact cases among students and staff.

“Finally, we have connected 25 positive student cases to exposure in school, which is significantly more than we could confirm all of last school year. We must slow the spread before our current situation worsens and we risk significant changes to the learning environment,” the district said.

Most of the positive cases and high-risk close contacts has come from the lower levels (K-6) in the Maize school district.

The decision from the Maize school board followed a decision in Andover last week in which its school board voted to implement a mask mandate for elementary schools in the district.

Valley Center and Wellington are among area districts who have temporary mask mandates in place for all their buildings.

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