Papillion-La Vista school board recommend masks for middle school students, no mandate

Police cited an attending patron for possession of a loaded gun on district property
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:34 PM CST
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - Nearly two weeks after the district rolled back the mask requirement for its high-schoolers, Papillion-La Vista Community Schools discussed a similar plan for middle-school students Monday night.

The school board didn’t vote at the Monday night board meeting, but the PLCS Board of Education will proceed with the plan in place. Starting Wednesday, masks will no longer be mandatory for middle school students, it will be recommended.

Annette Eyman, Papillion-LaVista Community Schools Director of Communications, presented the latest COVID-19 numbers and then the board heard comments from the public.

  • Cases ages 5-18 have trended up in October, just as they did in 2020 except fewer.
  • Cases among 5-12 years have seen a sharper increase than 13-18 in October.
  • Positive cases among staff have been relatively flat until recently

At its last meeting on Oct. 25, the school board voted to end the mask mandate at the high school level two days later, making masks a recommendation rather than a requirement for high school students.

The tentative timeline approved two weeks ago called for the school board to consider transitioning middle school students from a mask mandate to a mask recommendation at Monday night’s board meeting. The board said that at time that the same procedure would be considered at the Dec. 13 meeting for elementary school students effective Jan. 5, after the winter break.

The district said it would continue to monitor the COVID-19 data as the school year proceeds. Regardless, the district has said it plans to continue “non-pharmaceutical interventions,” like social distancing, extra surface disinfecting and hand-washing, and using the district’s “screener” to encourage keeping kids home from school when they are sick.

The district is planning to continue holding voluntary vaccination clinics for staff, students, and families.

PLCS also released a statement on Tuesday saying after the board meeting, police identified and cited an attending patron who had a loaded gun on school district property. The district says they are deeply concerned about the situation and that student, staff, and parent safety is paramount at all times.

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