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Bay District Schools officials address CDC’s new recommendations for school

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools officials address the CDC’s new recommended guidelines for school.

With COVID cases back on the rise in Bay County, so is the concern as children head back to school.

“I mean our main goal obviously is we need students in the classroom,” Chairman Steve Moss said.

With that goal in mind, board members do not plan to change their current COVID guidelines to fall in line with the CDC’s recommendations made Tuesday.

“The superintendent has not brought anything to the board that says that he would like to have us vote on changing our current policy,” said Moss.

The district’s current COVID policy says masks are optional for students, staff, and visitors.

They said it’s important the students be able to see their teacher’s faces, especially at the elementary level.

“When they’re learning to read, they need to be able to see how do I make those sounds and you can’t see those types of things,” board member Brenda Ruthven said.

Vaccines are also not required and district officials cannot ask for proof of vaccinations.

“I don’t foresee the school board saying, ‘Listen, if you don’t have a card, if you cant show us a card, you cant work here,’” said Moss.

The current quarantine policy is when a student or employee comes within three feet of an infected person, they will need to quarantine. Most board members agree when it comes to masks or vaccines.

“Ultimately, we’re going to leave it up to the parents,” said Moss.

Their main goal is to have all the students in the classroom in the safest way possible this school year.

“Going back to mask mandates, I don’t want to do that and I hope we never have to do that again,” said Ruthven.

That seems to be the sentiment of most school board members.

Moss said it would take a major breakout in the district for the board to revisit its current COVID policy.

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