Dear Madison-Plains Local School District Staff, Students, Parents, and Guardians,
As we approach the Labor Day weekend, we are also approaching the end of the two-week mark at which time I said I would review the mask mandate.
The goal of requiring the masks was to help reduce the numbers of quarantines. Because of the way the quarantine rules currently work, if a student or staff member is wearing a mask correctly and faithfully in class, they are allowed to break quarantine and come to school, if they are exposed in class.
Due to exposures from before the mask mandate went into effect, quarantine numbers went as high as 164. By the time this coming Tuesday arrives, if the numbers remain as they are right now, we will have less than 20 students in quarantine. That number does not include the actual cases or those students who are probable or suspected cases and are in isolation. This is simply the number of students who will be in quarantine due to exposure. Again, because of the way the quarantine rules currently work, wearing masks faithfully and correctly in class allows students and staff to be able to break quarantine and continue to come to school.
It is important to me to be responsive to the data. As such, effective Tuesday, September 07, 2021, we will once again have masks be strongly encouraged but not required in classes and buildings. Due to the federal mandate on busses, masks still have to be worn on busses, though; I cannot change that.
I do want to strongly encourage our students and staff to continue to wear masks, though, in classrooms and buildings, in addition to wearing them on busses. Again, because of the way the rules of quarantining currently work, wearing a mask in class will allow students and staff to break quarantine and come to school.
Please know that just as I have been, I will continue to watch the data, and if the quarantine numbers go back up, I will have to reconsider reinstituting the mask mandate.
Please also know that individual liberty is very important to me. So is keeping our students and our staff in school so that the children of this community can get the best education possible. As I see it, it is only because of the pandemic that these two things are at odds with each other.
I hope you have an enjoyable holiday weekend.
Chad Eisler, Superintendent
Madison-Plains Local School District