Mount Vernon Families, Community Members, and Staff Members:

I spoke today with our legal counsel regarding how the case in which the Temporary Restraining Order was granted may work its way through the court system. Conventional wisdom is that it may take months before Governor Reynolds and the state of Iowa are in a position to appeal the court decision from yesterday. This is always subject to change, but as we make decisions moving forward we need to anticipate that this case could remain in the courts for quite some time.

During its regular School Board meeting last evening, I provided the Board members with a COVID-19 update that looked at our current data. You can find our updated data each Friday afternoon on our website. Several parents also made public comments regarding the possibility of the implementation of a mask mandate, with the majority supporting leaving the decision of mask wearing to the discretion of parents. It is important to note as well that the Board members and I continue to receive numerous emails and phone calls from parents; both supporting the return to a mask mandate, and supporting keeping the decision in the hands of parents. We are taking in all the feedback from all stakeholders to help guide our decision-making moving forward.

The School Board will likely hold a special meeting sometime early next week to discuss the mask issue. I will send out a message to you in advance so you have the details for the meeting. We decided we did not want to rush into a decision until we had the time to discuss issues with our legal counsel, to discuss the issue with other districts, and to gather more data and research on the topic. There are strong arguments being made by people on both sides of the issue, and it is important that we are thorough in our decision-making process.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. B.