Mask policy is discussed, debated at School Bd. meeting

Angie Steffen 

Randolph Times

RANDOLPH — The coronavirus and the school policies in place to protect against it were a hot topic of conversation here Monday.

Jamie Fye, a concerned parent, spoke with a prepared statement for the board about her daughter who is in quarantine.

Fye said she is sitting at home wanting to be in school. She will need to be at home for 13 more days.

“School can help out by making it mandatory for all school students to wear masks,’’ she said. “This would help so that not so many students would have to be quarantined. Nobody likes wearing masks, but if the school required it everyone would do it.’’

She said if she and her husband didn’t require people to wear masks and the store was closed for 14 days they would lose two weeks’ income.

She said if the person who’s tested wears a mask and others wear masks no one has to be quarantined.

“Wearing a mask is important because cases are getting high in Randolph,’’ she said. “I didn’t think it was a big deal until she was quarantined, I know some things you can’t wear a mask for like sports. My daughter was in a class that wasn’t six feet apart and she had to be quarantined. She was assigned a seat and she didn’t have a choice where she sat. Think if it was your child. My daughter has been quarantined twice.’’

Becky Miller also addressed the board.

“I can sympathize with what Jamie said,’’ Miller said. “My take is a little bit different. As a parent, I would like the choice. I am glad our board was optional on masks. We take risks with our children every day. I do not see a reason to require masks at this time.’’

Board president Paul Schmit said he personally has great faith in the administration regarding this issue. He said he feels it should be left to the administration to decide. 

“I don’t think it is a good practice to decide our virus protocol at a meeting,’’ Supt. Jeff Hoesing said. 

He said many factors need to be considered and parents informed of protocols decided upon first.

In elementary school, 19 students were quarantined. Seven of those students were infected from students at school. Five were at the same lunch table and one was at recess, said principal Mary Miller.

Guidelines for sports will mean masks for all spectators. Hoesing said, at Randolph spectators will be required to wear masks. There will be no refreshments in the gym.

Board member Jim Scott asked about increasing sports practice to two periods for junior high.

Principal Brandi Bartels said the period is used for academics and after school practice creates a staffing problem.

“I do like to promote physical activity for all students at the junior high age,” she said.

Scott also asked about video streaming the games.

Hoesing said they are looking into various ways to do it, however he doesn’t want to encourage anything that would decrease attendance at the actual game.

“If people bring their smart phone to the game, they can record and share with others,’’ he said.

Members approved Family Medical Leave Act leave for Shelby Brokaw.

The book fair is planned for November. Parent teacher conferences were hosted Sept. 21. The elementary had 92 percent of their parents come to the conferences. This is up from last year’s 87 percent. 

Cardinal Kids Learning Center has hired a new director, Jessica Lueth, from Wayne. She has been operating an in-home daycare in Wayne. She will begin work Oct. 19.

The Board also heard about several upcoming events, including:

District Cross Country, Oct. 15, in Pender; State Cross Country, Oct. 23. Conference Volleyball, Oct. 17 through 20; Subdistrict Volleyball, Oct. 26-27; Football Playoffs, Oct. 22; National Honor Society Blood Drive, Oct. 28; National Honor Society Induction, Oct. 29; FCCLA Pumpkin Fest, Oct. 31, from 1-3 p.m., in the south gym. 

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