KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Students at Kettering City Schools will now be required to wear masks.
According to the district, all students will be required to wear masks in classrooms. The policy does not apply to staff, teachers and visitors, however, they are recommended to wear masks.
The superintendent recommended the new policy and the school board approved the recommendation at a meeting Tuesday.
“Our goal was to have a compromise to allow us to try to get through these next few weeks and months, especially for elementary until a juvenile vaccine is available,” Kettering City Schools Superintendent Scott Inskeep said.
The school year for Kettering City Schools started just over a week ago and already, there have been 2 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 70 students had to be quarantined. Inskeep said that’s the highest number of students in quarantine since April.
“People fall on either side on this decision, but ultimately, I think all agree they want their children in school, and that was how we came at it and and how we wound up making that decision,” Inskeep said.
This decision comes as CDC data reports COVID-19 cases in children are at the highest they’ve been since the peak last winter.
Health experts say wearing masks will keep students in school.
“If they have to quarantine consistently, that’s going to be an issue, so to try to keep that at a minimum, certainly that’s a great way to do it,” Premier Health regional medical director Dr. Joseph Allen said.
Since a high number of the district’s teachers and staff are fully vaccinated, and have not been affected by quarantines, masks are recommended, but not required for employees.
“In the event that we have to start to do the same thing with teachers, we will do the same thing,” Inskeep said. “We’ll have to, so that we can have kids in school.”
The policy goes into effect Monday.
Inskeep said six weeks after a vaccine for children is made available, the district will reconsider it’s mask policy.