Pleasanton USD 344 won't require masks for students

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton USD 344 Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 9, adopted a plan that will not mandate that students wear masks this year.

District Superintendent Travis Laver said the district’s guidelines would “strongly recommend” that masks be worn by all students. However, they will be only required if students ride on district buses.

Because school buses are considered to be public transportation, and the Centers for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment require masks be worn.

The district’s COVID-19 mitigation plan also calls for many of the steps it took last year. Those included keeping social distance in the classrooms and at lunch and providing and recommending frequent use of hand sanitizer.

Laver said the district relaxed its mask mandate from last year to a recommendation only for summer school classes. However, he acknowledged that the current spread of the Delta variant could force the district to make a rapid change to its policy.

“Our board gave us the flexibility to react to any changes,” he said.

The superintendent said he would also lean on the guidance from the school nurse as well as the Linn County Health Department.

The policy was developed by a team of staff members who used surveys to determine the course the district should take. He said results of the survey showed that only 20 percent of the respondents wanted a mask mandate, down from the 70 percent last fall.

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