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Allen County Schools Begin Updating Mask Policies for Summer

Rebecca Green

Allen County school districts are making changes to their mask policies after Gov. Eric Holcomb ended the state's mask mandate.


The Northwest Allen County Schools board has voted to update the school’s mask policy to optional beginning July 6.


The move comes after several months of contention between the board and parents who don’t want their children wearing masks all day at school. The board held several sessions to hear from parents, students and teachers on both sides of the debate.


In April, the board passed a resolution to continue with its original reopening plan from last July. The resolution stipulated the superintendant could update the plans to comply with new guidance or mandates.


The vote, which took place at Monday night’s board meeting, was a unanimous 4-0.


NACS Superintendent Chris Himsel said the decision was made based on conversations with local health experts and the expiration of Gov. Holcomb’s mask mandate.


Himsel said it’s the board's “intent” to begin the next school year with masks optional as long as “conditions remain conducive.”


The new policy will begin on July 6, the same day the second session of summer school and summer camps begin. The new school year begins on August 11.

Beginning July 1, Fort Wayne Community Schools will no longer be requiring masks inside buildings for people who have been vaccinated.

Their guidelines still strongly encourage masks indoors for all elementary students. Unvaccinated students, staff and visitors are expected to wear masks indoors.

Masks will still be required for all students and staff on school buses.

FWCS expects the new guidelines to remain in place for the 2021-2022 school year.

Southwest Allen County Schools plans to have changes effective July 5, but haven’t posted the new guidelines yet.

Attempts to reach East Allen County Schools for updates on their guidelines have so far been unsuccessful.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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