Pawhuska School Board Issues Mask Mandate

Tuesday, August 11th 2020, 7:32 am
By: Tess Maune

PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma -

Pawhuska Public Schools has set its plans to start the school year.

The district’s first day of school is August 20th and as of now students will go back to class in-person unless they choose the district's virtual

The school board said about 25-percent of the student body is enrolled in the district's virtual academy for the school year. Board members said less than 600 students are set for in-person learning in the fall, which means classroom sizes of about 10 or less.     

During a meeting on Monday, school board members voted to make masks mandatory for 3rd through 12th grade students, as well as teachers and staff.      

Dr. Cameron Rumsey with Pawhuska Family Medical Clinic spoke to the board about COVID-19 and about the best options for keeping students and teachers safe.      

He recommended a mask mandate and when asked if teachers should be tested for the virus weekly, he said that wouldn't make much of a difference.

“I think it's a horrible waste of resources. If you just randomly test somebody, you're just confirming they're negative at that point in time. If they get infected the next day, that test never helped you. And with our limited testing in Oklahoma, it would be very unreasonable to do so,” said Dr. Rumsey. “I would definitely test based on symptoms.”

The school board will meet again Monday, August 17 to get another update from Dr. Rumsey.

You can watch Monday night’s meeting HERE