Dayton Public Schools wants all students, staff to wear masks

Formal announcement expected Wednesday.

Dayton Public Schools’ board on Tuesday agreed in principle to a mask mandate for all students and staff when they are inside district buildings.

The new school year begins for DPS students on Aug. 18. The mandate will not apply when students are outdoors, such as at school recess, and will not apply at outdoor events, such as football games.

Tuesday’s board meeting began with a presentation from Jeffrey Cooper and Dr. Michael Dohn from Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. The health officials expressed significant concern about the COVID-19 delta variant posing more risk to school-age children than the original coronavirus had.

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Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli at first recommended a mask mandate for elementary school students at a minimum, because students younger than 12 do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Board President Mohamed Al-Hamdani then led a discussion that ended with board members agreeing that all students should be subject to the mask mandate.

Lolli said if masks are required for students, then they will be required for staff as well. She said a formal announcement about the policy and its details will be issued Wednesday.

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Dayton joins Jefferson Township and Yellow Springs schools locally in going with mask mandates for all students.

Elsewhere, the Cincinnati and Toledo districts have done the same, and on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced a mask mandate for all students in that state.

Oakwood and Centerville schools have approved more limited mask mandates, which will apply only to elementary school students.

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