BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Following Beavercreek City Schools new mask requirement for all students and faculty while in school buildings, Superintendent Paul Otten said this decision came as a result of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“So, we’re in the 70 range of cases for our kids. Obviously we’re seeing a very large number of cases in our buildings,” said Otten.
Originally, only grades K-6 were required to wear masks in school, but Otten said now the majority of COVID-19 cases are coming from students in grades 7-12. “Our priority is to keep our kids in front of us. We really don’t want to go remote learning.”
Jenna Stites has two children that go to Beavercreek City Schools, and Stites feels this update in the mask policy was for the best. “Mostly, some kids might just have a mild case, but for those that get really sick…that could be life changing.”
Diana Unger’s daughter is also a student in Beavercreek Schools. While both Unger and her daughter are vaccinated, she was surprised it took this long for the mask policy to get stricter.
“I wish we didn’t have to wear them, but my focus this entire time has been how can we keep the schools open with the most students able to attend,” said Unger.
Brian Jarvis has grandchildren in Beavercreek City Schools, and while he recognizes not everyone will be on board with the new policy, he’s asking people to think of children’s safety so they can continue learning in person.
“Just out of caution you take this little extra step for them, knowing full well it won’t last forever, just help them get through this,” said Jarvis.
Otten said he’s hopeful the mask mandate will lower cases in the school district. “We’re gonna take the steps we need to do that’s gonna give them as much of a normal experience as possible.”
The superintendent hasn’t said how long this new mask policy will be in place. For students wishing to be exempt from mask policies must have their required forms turned in by Tuesday, Sept. 7.