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Ashwaubenon schools to open with masks optional

By Press Times Staff

ASHWAUBENON – Absent an upward spike in Brown County’s positive tests for COVID-19 since the last school board meeting Aug. 11, the district will begin classes this week with masks being optional, but not required, Jennifer Bower, secretary to the superintendent and school board, said.

Earlier this month, the board scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 24 in the event an uptick in COVID-19 cases would warrant a change in the district’s plan to mitigate the virus from spreading, such as possibly requiring masks.

However, Bower said the board agreed to cancel the meeting after determining it wasn’t necessary.

The board’s mitigation plan currently states masks are “highly encouraged but not required for students and staff who have not been vaccinated.”

Masks are optional for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Superintendent Kurt Weyers informed the board earlier this month the district’s administrative team is choosing to wear masks because it wants the staff and students to feel comfortable about wearing them.

“We’re highly encouraging everyone to wear masks,” he said.

Though masks will be optional in all Ashwaubenon schools, Weyers said they will be required while riding a bus because of a federal mandate in effect for public transportation.

Ashwaubenon scheduled a so-called “soft start” to the school year at the 4K-8 level, having students with last names from A-Lemke report Wednesday, Sept. 1, and students with last names from Lemmen – Z report Thursday, Sept. 2.

All 4K-8 students will report Friday, Sept. 3.

All Ashwaubenon High School students will report Wednesday, Sept. 1.

School districts in the Greater Green Bay area have varied plans in place as they relate to wearing masks for starting in-person instruction in 2021-22, with Howard-Suamico and West De Pere also making them optional, for example, and masks being required in all Green Bay public schools.

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