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KEARNEY, Mo. — The Kearney School District will move forward with a plan requiring all students, staff members and visitors to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.

During a special meeting on Aug. 14, the KSD Board of Education told Interim Superintendent Dr. Todd White to move forward with the Return to School Plan.

In his communication with stakeholders, Dr. White explained the reasons why KSD is requiring face masks for students, staff and visitors. His reasons can be found online.

The school board originally met on Aug. 10 to decide how to move forward, but after the vote ended in a tie 3-3, they adjourned the meeting without a final decision.

The plan includes the steps that the district plans to take regarding COVID-19 and how the school will operate over the school year.

The district recommends that that all students, parents and guardians take time to read through the plan before school starts on Aug. 24. The plan can be found on the Kearney School District website.

In a release from Saturday afternoon, Dr. White said the best ways to achieve their goals for the years is by following their plan on how to handle COVID-19.

“After a year of school closures, quarantines, isolations and hybrid schedules, we have an opportunity to have all students in our schools every day,” Dr. White said. “Our goal is clear: consistent in-person school attendance for both students and staff for the 2021-2022 school year. To achieve this goal, we need to ensure we are taking the appropriate health measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

With plans of having an uninterrupted school year, the KSD decided indoor masking is required for all students, staff members and visitors regardless of vaccination status. They also said that students and adults are required to wear masks while on school buses.