Carthage School Board approves optional masks and contact tracing for upcoming school year

Local News

CARTHAGE, MO. — The Carthage school board is preparing for back to school.

Tonight the Carthage school board finalized the “Tigers Together” back to school plan.
The district will continue cleaning frequently and contact tracing.

The school board approved optional masking along with additional cleaning.

We will encourage wearing masks. It will not be required but encouraged, but they will have to wear masks on the bus. Its a CDC order.

Right now they are not being forced to wear a mask like they did last year. Its their opportunity. I just want parents to understand that they will be quarantined if they are not wearing mask and they’re next to person tests positive.

We will reevaluate our plan daily. We will watch the numbers and see what’s happening. Any type of issues we will address immediately, the overall plan we will review each month at the board meeting, but it can change pretty quickly.

Mark Baker, Carthage Superintendent

The district also hired additional staff to lower class sizes. the district came to the decision after talking to Jasper County Health Department, Mercy Hospital Carthage representatives and other school districts.

Some parents are happy that masks are going to be optional.

“I’m relieved that masks aren’t going to be mandated. I was very vocal in that they would be optional and really coming down to what parents think is best for their child,” said Angela Martin.

School starts for Carthage students August 23.

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