TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Seaman USD 345 Board of Education voted Monday to recommend face masks at all schools in the district for the upcoming school year for middle and high school students. Although, for pre-kindergarteners through 6th graders, masks will be a requirement.
Several people made public comments throughout the meeting both for and against masks, along with re-opening guidelines.
There will be exceptions for a student whose physician says the student cannot wear a mask for specific medical or behavioral reasons and also during outside recess. Board members said that wearing a mask during recess will not be required because they want kids to have a mask break and to follow the science that spread is less likely outside.
If P.E. class is outside, masks will be optional, if the class is inside they will be required for Pre-K to 6th-grade students.
The board also decided that staff in Pre-K-6th grade classrooms and facilities will be required to wear a mask as well.
Masking on busses, however, is a federal transportation regulation and there is no local option for this. Therefore, masks will be required on school busses because the re-opening policy for Seaman says the district will follow all federal policies.
Board members reiterated multiple times that what is decided today is a fluid decision based on the data and information that will continue to change over the next few weeks and months. This decision is responding to this point in time and is not to represent what the whole year will look like.
Last week, Topeka Public Schools Board of Education voted to require masks inside all its buildings.