Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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School opening Wednesday with masks 'highly recommended'

by Nancy C. Butler

Students in Joint School District #171 go back to classes Wednesday with masks 'highly recommended', as approved by the district trustees in their meeting Aug. 17.

The trustees split 3 to 2 in the vote about masks with Greg Billups making the motion, Greg Gerot seconding the measure and Christine Erbst the third 'aye' vote. Dr. Charity Robinson and Angela Pomponio voted 'nay'. Robinson and Pomponio have in discussions that night and in the past expressed their support for universal mandatory masks at this point in the school year.

The vote was taken after several members of the public presented testimony that they felt universal masking would not be possible/healthy for students. One person suggested that students wear masks whenever they are away from their desks, such as in the hall, recess, etc., but not when at their desks.

There is a caveat that if the county moves from the present green level to yellow that masks will be mandatory. The levels are based on the Regional Data Tool For Determining Health Alert Levels from Public Health. According to Dr. Michael Garrett, Superintendent the district is in close contact with Public Health. The district is notified about the situation and when there are changes on a regular basis.

Elementary students will primarily be doing things in 'pods'/classrooms, except some playground activities. With students at the junior/senior high level and varied classes it is a different situation.

High School athletes in the district are practicing for the usual fall sports and following the guidelines of the Idaho High School Athletic Association. Plans were developed by the Athletic Directors from Orofino and Timberline.

In general, visitors to the buildings who would like to go beyond the office where they check in will need to wear masks.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140