CONNEAUT — The Conneaut Area City Schools will continue to require masks for everyone in district buildings after considering the impact of wearing them for the first few weeks of school.

Superintendent Lori Riley said the district has had two COVID-19 cases this year, and two people have had to quarantine. If students hadn't been masked, an estimated 45 people would have to have been quarantined, she said.

The district had no COVID-19 cases in the first week of school, Riley said.

"I would recommend to the board that at this time, we stay the course and not change anything," Riley said.

Before the school year started, the Conneaut School Board voted to require masks for everyone in district buildings, with the intention to review the policy at Wednesday's meeting.

At the meeting, Riley said many districts around the state have gone from optional or recommended mask policies to requiring masks.

"I believe we did the right thing from the start, and we need to hold with that," Riley said.

A member of the public spoke at the meeting, thanking board members for their decision to mandate masks.

In other business:

• Conneaut Middle School Principal Jim Kennedy spoke to the board about how the first few weeks of school have gone at the middle school.

The middle school has tried to create more electives for students, based on the results of a survey from last year, Kennedy said. "When I talk with the students about some of the different things going on, they often mention one of their elective courses," he said.

A number of elective classes that previously lasted for one nine week grading period have been changed to last for a semester instead, he said. 

Some new classes include an outdoor lab and a physics and forensics lab, Kennedy said.

The middle school will also be offering a financial literacy class, Kennedy said.

Board Member Suzanne Bernardini asked about potential car backups at the middle school.

"The first day was the only day at the middle school we had cars down the road," Kennedy said. Since then, there have been a few lines of cars as soon as the school's doors open, but ten minutes after doors open, there's one car at a time dropping students off, he said.

"For the middle school, everything's pretty good," Kennedy said.


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