Few large school districts still have a mask mandate

Stebbins High School students prepare to board buses after returning to school Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. The Mad River school district had been doing online learning the previous few school days amid many COVID cases. MARSHALL GORBY \STAFF

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Stebbins High School students prepare to board buses after returning to school Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. The Mad River school district had been doing online learning the previous few school days amid many COVID cases. MARSHALL GORBY \STAFF

Mad River, Fairborn latest to drop mask policy.

Only a few of the largest school districts in the Dayton metro area still have a mask mandate in place, after Mad River schools and Fairborn schools dropped their COVID-inspired requirements this week.

Mad River and Fairborn followed on the heels of Centerville, Kettering, Northmont, Beavercreek and several other districts that announced within the last week that they are dropping their mask mandates. Other districts are still considering whether to keep those policies in place.

Dayton Public Schools, the largest district in the region, is still watching the number of COVID-19 cases to determine if masks would need to be taken away, said Elizabeth Lolli, DPS superintendent.

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“Then there’ll be some kind of discussion about it, hopefully, that we can remove the mask and get back to normal,” Lolli said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “But we’re still monitoring numbers at this point.”

Lolli said the number of student cases had fallen the previous week to just 20 cases, which is the lowest it has been, and six cases among teachers, which is the “extreme lowest it’s ever been.” The district has been better able to staff the schools as well, she said.

In a letter to parents Wednesday, Chad Wyen, the district superintendent for Mad River, said students who test positive for COVID-19 will still need to be reported to the school and stay home for at least five days. Students may return to school six days after the positive test as long as they have no symptoms.

When the student returns to school, it is strongly recommended that the student wear a mask for at least five days, Wyen said.

Fairborn students and staff no longer be required to wear masks in the buildings beginning Tuesday, said Superintendent Gene Lolli. But he still recommended masking for kids and adults who haven’t been vaccinated. The district is off Friday and Monday.

“If the district has an outbreak in a particular class, grade level or building, we will initiate the use of face masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Lolli said.

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