From Dr. Batenhorst:

This evening, the Mount Vernon Community School District School Board supported my recommendation that the current mask mandate remain in place through May 27, 2021.  The mask mandate will be discontinued effective on the morning of Friday, May 28, 2021.  In making this recommendation I studied the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Linn County Public Health (LCPH).  Effective May 28, 2021, families may make their own informed decisions as to whether they wish for their children to continue to wear masks in the school setting and school activities.  This guidance will be in effect for all activities, including summer school sessions, for the summer months.  This will now also be the prevailing protocol and guidance as we move into the 2021-2022 school year, and thus mask wearing will not be required at the start of the next school year unless there is some major shift in the impact of the COVID-19 virus on students.  With just two weeks remaining in the school year, I did not feel it was the appropriate time to adjust protocols that have been in place throughout the school year.

It is important that everyone continues to offer to one another the same grace and understanding that has been emblematic of our community throughout the pandemic.  Families who choose to continue to wear masks after May 28th need to be respected and supported in doing so.  Families who choose to discontinue mask wearing after May 28th need to be respected and supported in their decision.

Ultimately, my recommendation errs one more time to the side of caution as we work our way slowly through the pandemic.  The Board was in unanimous agreement with this recommendation.  Thank you for all you have done this year to make this a positive year despite the many challenges we have faced together.