ST. CLOUD -- District 742 will be requiring all PreK-12 grade students and staff to wear masks to start the school year.

During Wednesday's school board meeting, the board approved the mask mandate by a 6-1 vote.

A handful of people addressed the board during the public forum section, sharing their viewpoints both for and against a masking mandate.

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Superintendent Willie Jett says the recommendation to implement a mask mandate was based on the information from local and state health officials. He says they believe this is the best way to keep students in the classroom.

Similar to last year, the district will continue to enforce physical distancing, enhance cleaning protocols and continue hand washing. New to the districts mitigation strategies includes quarantining for symptomatic students, but not for close contact students as they will be masked.

The board also will have the ability to make changes to the masking requirements throughout the year, should the cases sparked by the delta variant decrease within the community. Changes will be brought up for discussion in October and again in December.

Earlier this week, the Sartell-St. Stephen school board approved a mask mandate for all students and staff in PreK-12 grades, regardless of vaccination status.

Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Brad Bergstrom says mask wearing will be optional for students and staff this year, except on the school bus (which is a federal mandate).


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