Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa school officials who choose to mandate that everyone in a school building must wear face masks must seriously consider how to implement the policy.
State guidelines released last week for reopening Iowa’s K-through-12 schools said face coverings could be allowed, but it will not be a statewide mandate. That sparked criticism from the state teachers union and some school administrators. Newly posted guidelines from the Iowa Department of Education have a list of considerations about face masks and the governor says schools must define what appropriate use means.
Reynolds says the state’s epidemiologists help the state’s education department develop its “broad guidance” to schools about how to safely resume classes this fall in the midst of a pandemic. A mandatory face masking policy has what the agency calls “considerable implications” — and it’s also urging schools to teach students not to judge others based on whether they wear or don’t wear a mask. Iowa school districts must submit “Return to Learn” plans to the state by Wednesday, July 1st. The plans must include three components, outlining the option of in-person instruction in a classroom, an online only option and a third option that’s a hybrid of meeting inside the school building AND taking classes online.