▶️ Crook County School District discusses new mask mandate

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

On Wednesday the Oregon Department of Education introduced a new face-covering requirement for the upcoming school year.

All students, grades kindergarten and above, as well as all staff, will be required to wear face coverings.

Jason Carr, with Crook County Schools, says while they were hoping to start the year without face coverings, the announcement is not a surprise.

“We are providing the clear face shields for all of our teachers,” Carr said. “We will also provide those for students who would prefer those over regular face masks.”

To assist with this new requirement, ODE is distributing five million masks and face shields to districts to be used by students and staff.

Local parents had mixed reactions on our Facebook page today when they heard about the plan.

Ronica W. says “my kids will happily wear a mask just to be able to go to school.” While Katie M. says “I rather keep my child home.”

“At the end of the day we’re trying to make the school experience as normal and comfortable as we possibly can given the circumstances,” Carr said. “And with that comes the ability to have some choice. If a student feels more comfortable with a clear face shield versus a cloth mask, we want them to have that option.”

Carr says the new requirement doesn’t impact current plans. Including an option for hybrid learning.

The ODE says while the use of face coverings does not fully prepare schools to return to in-person instruction, it does get them one step closer.

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