Masks will continue to be optional at Manhattan High School, but required in all lower level buildings in USD 383.

The school board approved continuing the pandemic response plan as is Wednesday in a 5-2 vote. Some of the discussion revolved around opening up optional masking at the middle school level. But since vaccines just got approval for children 5 to 11, most favored in waiting another month before lifting some of the requirements. Board member Curt Herrman shared these comments Wednesday night.

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Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade says the numbers from the district’s data dashboard continue to stay steady.

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Board member Darell Edie was hoping the board could take the next step when it comes to masks.

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Board member Brandy Santos supported lifting mask requirements at the middle school level, saying she’d like to see hard data showing the efficacy of masking compared to vaccination rates.

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Santos and Darell Edie were the lone dissenting votes. The board will reconsider the pandemic response plan at their Dec. 15 meeting.

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