Northmont, Troy Schools to require masks for students, staff, visitors

Miami Valley News

ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Two school districts in the Miami Valley will soon require everyone to wear masks inside their buildings.

Northmont City Schools said starting Wednesday, Sept. 15, all students, staff and visitors to all Northmont buildings will be required to wear a face covering. The school had previously updated its mask policy in August for students in grades PreK-6, requiring them to wear masks.

One Northmont parent says her child has already been quarantined twice this school year.

“My one student in middle school is now facing his second quarantine, so he literally has only attended face-to-face just a handful of days this school year,” parent Melisa Kerns said.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Tony Thomas states reasons for the mask requirement include preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the high number of absences the district is facing because of quarantines.

“Our belief is that we need to do everything in our power to drive our attendance rates back to an acceptable level,” Thomas states in the letter.

While some parents say having their kids wear masks in school isn’t ideal, they support it if it means their children can stay in school and out of quarantine.

“They make it hard to see what people are saying, they make it hard to hear what people are saying, and it’s hot,” parent Laurel Gilbert said. “No pandemic has lasted forever, so if we can get through this particular variant, I’m hoping we can get the masks off the kids, certainly by spring, with the number one goal being to keep them in the classroom.”

Troy City Schools confirmed to 2 NEWS that masks will be required for staff, students and visitors starting Wednesday as well. In a letter to the school’s superintendent, Miami County Public Health Commisioner Dennis Propes said he supports the school’s mask requirement due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in schools.

“Since the beginning of the 2021 school year, Miami County is seeing case numbers for staff and students increase to over 100 cases a week,” said Propes. This is significantly higher than some of the highest weekly rates in 2020.”

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