Rhonda Silence

ISD 166 superintendent’s thoughts on masks for new school year

As WTIP has reported, School District 166 will continue its policy that everyone in the building must wear masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The decision was made on August 19 with a 4-1 vote.

Board member Stephanie Radloff was the lone vote against the policy.

As the board considered the policy, Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager was announcing that there had been a spike in the case count of COVID-19 among local residents. School officials had just learned that there were 11 new cases in the previous two weeks.

That uptick in new cases is among the highest in Cook County when compared to any other stage of the pandemic. The highly contagious delta variant is likely behind the spike in new cases, with an estimated 95 percent of new cases in Minnesota being link to the variant, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

As we reported previously, the board voted to require masks for all students and staff while indoors on the ISD 166 campus. Visitors to the school will also be required to wear masks under the policy.

The first day of school at ISD 166 is Sept. 7.

Click here to view the mask policy approved by the board for the 2021-22 school year.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with ISD 166 Superintendent Chris Lindholm about the policy and about the possibility of distance learning in the school year ahead.