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Iowa City Schools approves mask requirement

FILE- A meeting of the Iowa City Community School District's school board on Tuesday, August 3,...
FILE- A meeting of the Iowa City Community School District's school board on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.(KCRG)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:42 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - School district officials in Iowa City have reinstated a mask requirement for their buildings, following a federal judge’s ruling that temporarily blocked a state law prohibiting such a requirement.

The agenda item to put in the mask-wearing requirement for people in district buildings was passed unanimously by the school board on Tuesday night. The requirement applies to all students, visitors, and staff in the buildings and on school district campuses. It goes into effect immediately on Wednesday, September 15.

The requirement applies to sporting events as well, with spectators required to wear face masks whether indoors or outdoors. Students actively participating in a game do not need to wear masks, but coaches and students on the sidelines do.

“This decision is largely based on the CDC’s strong recommendation that face masks be worn in schools, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. This requirement also aligns with the advice of our local public health experts,” Superintendent Matt Degner said, in a letter to district parents.

Degner had indicated on Monday that the district was likely to approve such a move during the meeting.

Read the letter sent by Superintendent Degner to parents about the new mask requirement:

Dear Families and Staff, 

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa granted a temporary restraining order regarding the State of Iowa’s current mask requirement ban. The mask ban prevented local school districts, cities, and counties from enacting their own mask requirements. With the restraining order granted, until further notice, school districts in Iowa can require face masks in schools.

Following tonight’s Board meeting, the Iowa City Community School District is implementing a face mask requirement for all students, staff, and visitors in our buildings and on our campuses. This decision is largely based on the CDC’s strong recommendation that face masks be worn in schools, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. This requirement also aligns with the advice of our local public health experts.   

The face mask requirement goes into effect Wednesday, September 15, 2021. While it includes all individuals in our buildings and on our campuses, it also includes spectators at all indoor and outdoor events. Students actively participating in athletic competitions, whether indoors or outdoors, are not required to wear masks. Students and staff on the sidelines or bench are required to wear masks. For individuals who are eligible for face mask exemption, please complete the Face Mask Exemption Form and return it to your school nurse. 

As a reminder and in compliance with the President’s Executive Order on domestic transportation, students and staff are required to wear a face-covering while on a school bus or while utilizing other District-provided transportation. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in loss of bus riding privileges.  

We appreciate your cooperation as we continue our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community.  #ICCSDtogether

Sincerely, Matt Degner

Superintendent

Iowa City Community School District

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