Leavenworth, Lansing, Basehor-Linwood boards approve indoor mask mandates
The Leavenworth, Lansing and Basehor-Linwood school boards have voted to implement mask requirements for the upcoming school year.
The school district will require students, staff members and visitors to wear face coverings indoors regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. Masks also will be required on school buses.
Masks will not be mandated for outdoor school activities. But at least some school officials are still encouraging students to wear masks outdoors.
The votes came as each of the three school boards met Monday evening.
"COVID is now part of our life, and we're having to find new ways to deal with it," Leavenworth school board member Mike Powell said.
The Leavenworth board voted 6-1 to accept recommendations presented by Superintendent Mike Roth and Jake Potter, director of public relations for the district. Board member Alisa Murphy did not support the motion.
Reading a prepared statement, Leavenworth board President Judi Price said the district must work to keep children in schools.
Roth argued having a mask requirement in place would help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep children in school.
He said the recommended mask requirement will help Leavenworth public schools be as normal as possible under current COVID-19 conditions.
In Lansing, school board members voted 6-0 to accept mask recommendations from Superintendent Dan Wessel. One board member, Michelle McQuillan, was absent.
The Basehor-Linwood Board of Education voted 6-1 to accept recommendations for an indoor mask mandate. Board member Spencer Fritz voted against the motion, according to Ashley Razak, communications coordinator for the district.
The votes by the three school boards Monday came less than a week after the Easton Board of Education voted to approve a mask requirement in that district.
During their meeting Monday, officials for the Leavenworth public schools referred to their mask policy as being situational.
The policy approved for Leavenworth public schools mandates that masks be worn indoors when three feet of social distancing cannot be maintained for periods of 15 minutes or longer.
Potter said teachers can allow mask breaks when students are able to maintain proper social distancing.
Classes for the 2021-2022 school year will begin next week in the local school districts.