JONESBORO, Ark- The Nettleton School Board has passed a mask mandate.
This will require all students, faculty, and staff to wear a face covering throughout the day.
The district will limit visitors as they hope this will keep the virus out of their schools.
“They can remove their mask if they’re eating, or in physical education or they’re at recess, or as the policy says if they have medical requirements that wouldn’t allow them to wear a mask,” says Nettleton Superintendent James Dunivan. “But other than that, they’ll be wearing a mask at all times. Teachers will be able to remove a mask to teach if they can socially distance in front of the room. But then when they’re finished teaching, they have to put the mask back on as well.”
While Governor Hutchinson isn't requiring districts to issue a mask mandate, the school board passed the policy unanimously last night.
Dunivan says teachers and staff will enforce the order.
The policy states parents are required to provide their child a mask, but if a student shows up without one or loses theirs the district will supply a mask.
Dunivan says students who choose not to wear a mask they have another option.
“If a family has any objections to wearing masks or any number of reasons, we understand that,” says Dunivan. “They can apply and participate and get their education online. So, they would be at home where they’re safe and not have to wear a mask. So, students have options.”
Dunivan says the policy was proposed because they want everyone in the district to stay as safe as possible.
They will continue this effort by not allowing visitors inside their buildings.
"Right now, if any visitor comes to the school, they wouldn’t be allowed in school. Now that’s not to say if a child forgets a book or forgets something important parents can still bring that item to the school,” says Dunivan. “We’ll have a place for them to drop that off safely, and we’ll get it to the student. If in fact, we ever start allowing visitors, they would have to wear a mask as well."
The Nettleton School District is also working on other policies for this upcoming year.