Masks optional at Basehor-Linwood High School

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Masks are now optional for students and staff at Basehor-Linwood High School. And there are plans to institute a second semester mask optional policy in other schools in the district.

The change at Basehor-Linwood High School went into effect last week following a meeting of the Board of Education, according to information posted on the school district's Facebook page.

High school students are still required to wear masks on buses due to federal guidelines.

When students in kindergarten through the eighth-grade return from their winter break Jan. 4, masks will be optional in their buildings.

The decision to make masks optional in the district's elementary and middle school buildings comes after access to a COVID-19 vaccine for children has expanded. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the emergency use of a Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Authorization previously was approved for children who are 12 and older.

A mask mandate is scheduled to remain in place for prekindergarten students, who are too young to be eligible for the vaccine, while they are indoors at the school district's Early Learning Center. Masks also will be required for staff members at the Early Learning Center, according to information posted on the school district's Facebook page.

Even with the new mask optional policy, a mask mandate may be instituted for two weeks at a time in schools that experience COVID-19 positivity rates of greater than 4% of the student enrollment.

Members of the Leavenworth Board of Education will discuss their district's COVID-19 policies for the second semester when they meet next month, according to Leavenworth Superintendent Mike Roth.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR