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Superintendent Jill Griffin addresses the audience at Thursday’s School Board meeting. In the background are (from left) Director of Finance and Operations Barrett Deist, board and superintendent Secretary Julie Fitzgerald, and School Board members Don Woelfel, Sharon Rothe and Tom Beiermann. 

The Bethalto School Board on Thursday approved a policy that will recommend, but not require, students to wear masks for the 2021-2022 school year.

The district will still require masks on buses. If COVID-19 numbers are too high in a building, the district will require masks in that building until the numbers decline.

Superintendent Jill Griffin addressed the audience at the meeting in the Commons at Civic Memorial High School.

 

One difference from last year is there will be no self-screening process in the morning. The district will screen students who are displaying symptoms. Another change is a test that will detect infections before the start of the next school day. The district also will continue to do antigen testing. 

Six people addressed the School Board. Five told the board they want masks to be optional, while one said he’d like to see improved remote instruction. One speaker was registered nurse Donna Coy of Bethalto, who said masks don’t prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses.

The board approved the plan after a closed session discussion. The plan will be posted on https://www.bethalto.org/ and the public can comment by emailing return@bethalto.org.