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Sioux City public schools superintendent explains how he’d implement mask mandate

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:29 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -The superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District says the school board likely will grant him authority to implement a mask mandate at certain schools.

Gausman has told KTIV he would probably recommend a metric around three percent. That’s three percent of students and staff at any one building, out with illness, would trigger a mask mandate.

So far, the Sioux City Community School District hasn’t released data showing which schools have been the hardest hit by COVID-19. But it seems that’s about to change.

On Monday, the school board will consider a change to policy that would allow the superintendent to implement a mask mandate if student and staff absences reach a certain level.

“I’m thinking of a number closer to 3%. Or maybe even lower than that, where we watch. And I’m also thinking very specifically about students and staff. So, you know, as a district,” said Dr. Paul Gausman.

If the school board adopts the change, Gausman says the district will likely start releasing COVID-19 data about each individual school. That would give parents an opportunity to see if their school is trending toward mandatory masks.

“We’re redesigning our reporting system right now so that we could do this on a better basis building by building with students and staff blended together. And so I will make that recommendation to them,” said Gausman.

Gausman also says he believes at least a super-majority of the school board will support the measure.

We asked each school board member what their stance on the policy change was. Four didn’t respond.

Jan George says he will discuss his position on Monday at the school board meeting. President Dan Greenwell says the superintendent is best suited to make the decision but didn’t confirm a yes or no vote.

Member Julie Albert says she supports giving the superintendent power to implement a mask mandate.

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