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Siefke: No decision yet on masks for upcoming school year

LISBON — The Lisbon village exempted school district is still not sure how to handle masks in the upcoming school year after the recent shift towards more relaxed health orders statewide.

Superintendent Joe Siefke told the school board during their July meeting that the district has not made a decision yet on whether masks will be required for students and staff.

“I get a call every day or two about where are we, what are we doing, what’s the protocol with the mask mandate and quarantine, and we just don’t know,” Siefke said. “It’s frustrating to some degree, but as soon as we know we’ll utilize our ability to communicate with everyone to share where we’re at.”

Siefke said that superintendents from various Columbiana County schools will meet with the health department on July 29 to establish a clear approach for next school year.

Aside from the mask debate, the district is on track to welcome students back in August. All summer maintenance projects, including the McKinley Elementary roofing project and painting project, are completed or are nearing completion.

In personnel matters, the board approved the hiring of junior high teacher Alex Walker, McKinley first grade teacher Molly Rodgers and title teacher Madison Crawford.

In other business, the board approved:

— A plan in the event of excess calamity days to allow students of the district to access and complete classroom lessons through online instruction.

— The district entering membership into the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding for the 2021-2022 School Year at the rate of 50 cents per most recent report card enrollment.

— The drug testing policy for student athletes and students participating in extracurricular activities for the 2021-2022 school year.

— An update to the career advising policy as mandated by the Ohio Department of Education to address the student’s academic and career pathway to a successful graduation by developing a Student Success Plan to achieve their goals for their future to be updated in 2023.

lnickel@mojonews.com

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