BUSSEY — All students and staff will be required to wear masks in the Twin Cedars Community School District, starting Tuesday.

The revision to the district's return-to-learn was made at a special meeting of the Twin Cedars school board this week.

The mask mandate begins Tuesday, Sept. 8, and includes all district personnel and all students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. The mandate also applies to students on district-provided transportation.

Students will be allowed so-called mask breaks throughout the day when they can be outside and are properly socially distanced.

Beyond the mask mandate, the district reminds parents that if children are sick they need to stay home.

"The board implores students and staff to stay home if they are sick, wash hands frequently, practice social distancing, and wear a mask to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19," said Twin Cedars Superintendent Brian VanderSluis. "The first three of these mitigation strategies are as important as wearing a mask and will only further the success of mask-wearing as we continue to fight this virus."

The district resumes face-to-face learning on Sept. 8. They had received a temporary waiver from the state for online instruction after several cases were reported in the district, and Marion County was seeing a significant growth of cases.

The board also voted to require masks for all visitors of indoor athletic events. Outdoor events, such as football games, don't have a mask requirement but they are still strongly encouraged.

The district has posted an updated copy of its return-to-learn plan on its website at http://twincedars.k12.ia.us.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Oskaloosa Herald and the Ottumwa Courier. He can be reached at kocker@oskyherald.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

Group Editor

Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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