Troy City School District will decide on mask mandate closer to fall semester

Miami Valley News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — Troy’s Board of Education is waiting to decide if students will have to wear masks in the classroom this fall.

After Monday night’s board meeting, Superintendent Chris Piper reaffirmed to 2 NEWS that it’s too early to decide what the mask regulations will be in the fall. That said, right now it’s going to come down to whether cases increase over the summer months.

“Right now things are trending very well but we just have to keep our eyes on that, and make sure ultimately we want our kids to be educated well and everyone kept safe,” said Piper.

Troy City School District is hopeful for a relatively normal 2021-22 school year as long as cases remain low. The coronavirus dashboard shows over 38 percent of Miami County has received at least one dose of a vaccine, which one parent says makes him feel better about continuing in-person learning in the fall.

“If numbers go up, we can go back to masks like we did this year, but if numbers are down the way they have been, there’s no reason to have a mask on,” said Brian Shefbuch, a Troy Schools parent. “My seven-year-old son didn’t have a problem wearing one but I’m sure the teachers got tired of telling the kids all the time to put it back on.”

Shefbuch is hopeful that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approved for children under 12 years old to make the school year feel safer without masks, but is advocating for the decision to be left to the parents.

“I believe it should be a pro-choice plan with the parents, let the parents decide,” said Shefbuch. “Troy is very fortunate enough that a lot of the smaller schools can do social distancing but the numbers have been down, the governor has removed most of the restrictions. The only ones left are in the hospitals and nursing homes so I believe it should be the parents’ choice.”

Miami County was the first county in the Miami Valley to return to Yellow Public Emergency Level 1, the lowest level, about three weeks ago. However, Piper says they’ll most likely make a decision on the masks closer to the start of the school year.

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