As school districts across Kendall County grapple with mask policies for the incoming school year, the school board of Newark Community Consolidated School District 66 is set to take up the question at its meeting this month.
District Superintendent Demetra Turman plans to recommend that masks be optional at a board meeting Monday Aug. 16, though she emphasized that the 250-student district is still gathering input from parents and staff. Newark’s ZIP code has the lowest vaccination rate in the county at 30.6%.
District 66′s Newark Grade School in Newark serves K-4th grade students, while Millbrook Junior High in Millbrook serves 5th – 8th grade students.
“Right now we’re just piling all the comments together,” Turman said in an interview. “We have meetings with the Kendall County Health Department this week. We will know for sure our plan soon.”
Turman also didn’t rule out the district making masks mandatory should COVID-19 metrics increase. In their meeting with county health officials this week, the district hopes to learn what data threshold should trigger bringing masks back to the classroom.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that all students and staff in school wear masks as concerns over the Delta Variant usher in new pandemic restrictions across the country.