Ottawa Elementary doesn’t want to rush mask decision, then have to redo guidelines

Superintendent anticipates more guidance from state agencies

The Ottawa Elementary School Board will wait for more information before making a decision on mask wearing requirements at its school buildings.

While no audience members spoke to the board Tuesday, Superintendent Cleve Threadgill believed it was important to talk about the district’s strategy regarding mask wearing with school resuming in the next month.

“I thought this was an important topic to put on the agenda (Tuesday) as there has been a lot of discussion not only in our area, but also around our state,” Threadgill said.

Threadgill presented the most recent CDC guidelines he said were highly recommended by the state.

These guidelines recommend those in the school who are not vaccinated wear a mask. Especially those in the pre-kindergarten through sixth grade age groups.

Threadgill said his intention is to work with the La Salle County Health Department to formulate a plan that will best work for their schools and help everyone stay as safe as possible.

Threadgill said the school district would much rather gather as much information and guidance as possible before making a decision then rush to an answer and have to then redact it.

“Certainly there may be differences of opinion, but we have to look at the welfare of everyone and we have to look out for the district,” Threadgill said. “Nobody wants there to be a spike, we all understand that.”

Threadgill believes they will be receiving further guidance from the CDC and La Salle County Health Department moving forward before the school board will be able to make an informed decision on what they will or will not require for the school year.

“We certainly anticipate and are waiting for more guidance,” Threadgill said. “The state has set that it’s individual districts’ decisions at this time, however, I think many of us remain skeptical that there still could be some type of guidance that could come down particularly if numbers start to spike.”

Threadgill also mentioned the belief that the school could not be held liable in the event of a breakout is false and that this should be taken into consideration when the school board makes its final decision.

Tuesday’s agenda item was a discussion and not an action item as the board will reconvene prior to the beginning of the school year to talk about final procedures.

Jayce Eustice

Covering local government, breaking news and whatever is thrown at me for the La Salle News Tribune