FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — School districts across our area are starting to release their plans for reopening in less than two months. Those plans for reopening include whether or not districts will require students and teachers to wear face masks.
Kimberly Mundell with the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education says they have not issued any directives on face masks.
“Those are really at this point decisions that best need to be made on the local level," she said. "Of course, we always await additional guidance and directives from the department of health, so there are a lot of things we still don’t know yet."
The Fayetteville School District like many others in our area is looking at whether or not to require masks to be worn when students head back into the classroom next month.
Superintendent John L. Colbert says the administration has recommended to their board of education that all students in kindergarten through 12th grade wear masks at school, but a final decision has not yet been made.
“We need to find ways to make sure we curtail the spread of COVID-19 and that is one of the reasons we are requiring that every student should wear a mask. And of course, it’s not just wearing a mask but also follow the physical distancing that’s required,” Colbert said.
Colbert says the policy is meant to protect the safety of all students and staff.
If you have a younger child, you may be thinking it’s going to be a challenge to get them to actually wear a mask all day. Colbert says it’s going to take training and parents to start telling them now how important it is for them to wear their masks.
“We’re going to have to practice it and therefore teach the kids how to wear them and make it a fun game," he said. "You know sometimes we have to be creative in order to make those young ones keep the face masks on."
There will be a special Fayetteville Board of Education meeting on July 16 where they will be deciding on making face masks required for students this fall.