DECATUR, Ind. (WANE) – North Adams Community Schools has announced that it will begin requiring masks for all students, staff and visitors.
In a video sent to families, Superintendent Kim Hiatt announced the decision and reasoning behind the change:
Hiatt said a major concern was that child and teen cases have jumped 84% from July 22 to 29 and that kids make up 20% of cases nationwide.
In addition, Hiatt said that Adams County Health Officer Michael Ainsworth sent a letter to elected officials on Aug. 17 stating that he is recommending that school systems immediately begin requiring all students and staff to wear face coverings while in school.
She continued saying that during the last year the district saw very few positive cases from contact while at school when masking, cleaning hands regularly and observing basic hygienic practices were in place.
The decision was made based on the values that the school has. Hiatt said the values noted include:
- We value children – We have over 1700 people indoors for almost eight hours each day.
- We value their safety – Some of these people are very vulnerable to this type of illness. The new variant is very contagious and is affecting children more so.
- We value their education – These students NEED to keep learning in-person. Many lost significant ground in their learning last year. We have to keep them growing.
- We value their mental health – These students NEED to be around other kids and people. Learning. Competing. Playing. Living.
“Along with our other hygienic practices, masking is one small thing that we can do to keep children – and if we can keep even one from being hospitalized or becoming severely ill, that is worth that one concession,” Hiatt said.
The mask requirement will be in place all students, staff and visitors until Adams County’s Advisory Level is at yellow or blue, or until the Health Department Officer rescinds his recommendation.