The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued updated COVID-19 guidance last week. Missouri School Boards Association Deputy Executive Director Brent Ghan, early in the afternoon of July 27, said the association supported the guidance and urged school districts to look at it.
He called vaccination a public health prevention strategy to help end the pandemic. The MSBA encourages school districts to work with local public health agencies to make vaccines available to eligible students and staff.
Ghan said policies on masking were up to the discretion of school boards and administrators.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance the afternoon of July 27th recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to k-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
Ghan thought school districts would continue to follow basic recommendations that have been in place throughout the pandemic, with things like hand washing and social distancing.
The Missouri School Boards Association issued guidance in the spring for the situation at that time. Ghan noted the association consulted with health-related organizations and the Center for Education Safety.
Ghan added that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has more authority than policy requirements, but its guidance is also only guidance.
DESE’s COVID-19 guidance is available on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. Contact local school districts for more information on their policies.