FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) board has voted to end the face mask requirement on Dec. 18, 2021.
Masks will become optional at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 18. The requirement will not be extended unless required by federal, state or local statutes like the federal transportation mask mandate which ends Jan. 18, 2022, which NACS will follow.
The board approved the change due to the decrease in COVID-19 cases and quarantines in the district as well as the increase students eligible for vaccinations.
Currently masks are required indoors during typical school hours or where a student is required to attend unless:
- Six feet or more apart
- High assertion activities
- Eating or drinking
- Choose to attend a non-sponsored school event outside of school hours and is open to the public
The board voted 5:0 to amend the resolution to masks optional after Dec. 18.
The board also voted to end the full-time remote learning option for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students at the end of the fall semester. Remote learning will be granted for individual cases “where it is determined that full-time remote learning opportunities provide the appropriate, least restricted environment.”
The board also voted to relax the guidelines for a student returning to athletics.
“I’m comfortable with eliminating that portion of it, that if you come back to athletics, you don’t have to have that separation. I’m comfortable with that based on the data from the other school corporations as well as our own data,” said Superintendent Chris Himsel.
Under the new guidelines, a student will not have to separate when he/she returns to conditioning and competition after their quarantine has been completed. They would also not have to wear a face mask during conditioning.
A vote of 5:0 approved the amendment as well.
The board voted 4:1 to pass the changes. Even though he voted to approve the amendments, Kent Somers, president, voted no on the final approval.