Kearney Public School Board Votes to Make Masks Optional

KEARNEY – The Kearney Public School Board voted unanimously to make masks optional unless under close contact. The board meeting saw over 40 people speak that included doctors and regular citizens both advocating for and against a mask mandate. 

Superintendent Kent Edwards sent a letter to parents and guardians regarding the policy.

Parents and Guardians

Important decisions were made at the Kearney Public Schools Board of Education meeting held last night, and I want you to hear the information directly from me.

The Board listened to public comments about mask mandates for over two hours. There were approximately ten medical professionals who spoke and approximately 34 additional speakers.  After listening intently and deliberating the pros and cons, the Board decided that masks at Kearney Public Schools will be ‘highly recommended’ but optional for both students and staff.  Kearney Public Schools will remain in the Green Operational Zone, and the district’s Infection Control Plan will be utilized to inform future decisions on mitigation protocols.

So, beginning today, parents can choose to have their children wear a mask or not.   I have been in many classrooms this fall, and there are children in every room choosing to wear a mask.  I recognize this decision will not appease all parents. We will not all agree, but we must move forward and get to the business of learning.

We believe that children receive their best education in the classroom; however, KPS will be offering remote learning.  More details on remote learning will be forthcoming.  We will continue our procedures to mitigate COVID and encourage families to mask their children.

If a person has a confirmed case of COVID, they cannot return to school until symptom-free, without medication for 24 hours. These students will either isolate or mask for ten calendar days from the onset of symptoms.

We thank you for your understanding and support,

Sincerely,

Kent Edwards, Superintendent

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