TYRONE, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Tyrone Area School Board voted to fully reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year. But reopening wasn’t what most parents were worried about. Most questions and concerns were about wearing masks during the school day.
The board says their plans include following safety measures to protect students and teachers. Superintendent, Leslie Estep says “there probably was never a time that we needed to come together and work together as we do right now.”
Most parents who spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting had similar concerns – wearing masks and enforcing them throughout the school day, especially when it comes to younger students. One parent says “I’ve never worn a mask, never had COVID, my kids were fine.” But some believe they should determine the enforcement of mask-wearing off of statistics and CDC guidelines. Another parent says “not following these guidelines puts everyone at risk.” Others believe the parents or guardians should be the ones to decide. A third parent says “I don’t understand why you feel that any government hs a right to take our decision as parents that our children should or should not wear a mask.”But most agreed on one thing… They all wanted to be in the loop, having an open form of communication with the school board.
Estep says “I think moving forward we will have some parents that will continue to be a little bit more involved and want to be involved in some of the stakeholder groups that we have and we will need some of their input.”
Two board members voted against reopening, saying that the decision should be made closer to the start of the school year on August 25th.
The board says their decision could change depending on the number of cases and new orders from the governor. They say they’ll send a detailed plan to parents on Wednesday.