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Coldwater Superintendent Asking For Input On Masking
By: Mike Stiles - Tuesday, September 28, 2021

(COLDWATER) – Coldwater Schools Superintendent Terry Whelan is asking for the community's input on masking of students and staff.

In a message posted on the School District's web page, Whelan says the last 18 months have been challenging for Coldwater students and staff, along with the community, the state and the Nation. She says when the 2020-21 school year ended, they hoped everything would be back to normal when they returned in August. However, that has not been the case.

Since the start of the 2021-22 school year, Whelan says Coldwater Schools have had 55 students and staff test positive for COVID-19, and they have had to quarantine 773 students in the first five weeks of the school year.

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency recently adopted new guidelines from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services which would allow for Coldwater Schools to keep students in class unless they test positive for COVID-19. Whelan says for those updated guidelines to be put into practice, they would need to adopt a universal masking policy.

Whelan says if all of the students and staff would wear masks, then Coldwater Schools would be able to keep close contacts, which is three feet or more from the positive person. Whelan says those individuals would just need to monitor themselves for any symptoms.

Whelan says the survey is asking community members if they are in favor of the proposed new guidelines allowing students to stay in school, and the universal masking requirement that is needed to implement these guidelines; or if they agree with what Coldwater Schools is doing which is no universal masking and the possibility of quarantining large numbers of students.

Whelan says there are parents that don’t want to have to mask their kids; neither does the School District. However, she says that the number one goal that we can all agree to is that we want to keep students and staff safe. The second goal is to keep our kids in school, because Whelan says she doesn't think anyone wants to have our kids go back to virtual instruction again.

The survey is available at the Coldwater School's website, which is Coldwater Schools dot org. It will be available until this Friday, October 1. Whelan says she will share the results with the Coldwater Board of Education.



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