St. Joseph school district will require students and staff to wear masks

NOW: St. Joseph school district will require students and staff to wear masks

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- Monday’s St. Joseph Public Schools Board of Education meeting ended in a six to zero vote in favor of requiring masks for students and staff to begin the district’s school year.

Before the vote was made, Superintendent Jenny Fee made her opinion known for wanting the district to require masks.

“We know that in-person learning is the most optimal learning environment for students. The decision to recommend a masking requirement for all students, staff, volunteers, and visitors inside SJPS facilities, is an educational decision to maximize the likelihood of in-person instruction for every student and to provide the conditions for our students to experience a normal school year to the greatest extent possible, which they so deserve after a year and a half of remote/hybrid learning, and limitations and cancellations of events and activities,” Said Jenny Fee, Superintendent of St. Joseph Public Schools.

The Board of Education agreed with this sentiment with a unanimous vote to prioritize the safety of students and staff with a mask requirement to start the school year.

“The masking requirement follows the recommendations of the MDHHS, BCHD, CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics for schools to require universal masking regardless of community transmission level or vaccination status. The Board of Education members and Superintendent are not doctors or public health officials, and thus, we must turn to the medical experts to guide us in doing what is best for our students, staff, and each other,” said Barry Conybeare, President of the Board of Education.

The school district will have all students and staff masked up when they return to in-person learning on September 7.

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