Siouxland schools react to new CDC mask guidelines

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FILE – In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As the nation closes out a school year marred by the pandemic, some states are now starting to release new standardized test scores that offer an early glimpse at just how far students have fallen behind — with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of progress across every academic subject. New York, Georgia and some other states pushed to cancel testing for a second year so schools could focus on classroom learning. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The new school year is fast approaching, and Siouxlanders might be curious about how schools will be holding classes.

On Tuesday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed their masking guidelines recommending people who have been fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors to help slow the spread of the Delta variant. This included teachers, staff, and students in schools.

The Sioux City Community District (SCCSD) issued a statement to KCAU 9 about their plans for the upcoming school year.

“The Sioux City Community School District is committed to keeping our students and staff safe. We are working on our Return to Learn Plan for the upcoming school year and will be communicating details pending Board approval of the plan after the August 9th school board meeting.” 

Leslie Heying, Director of Communications

Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools issued a similar statement.

“Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools expects to officially finalize learning models and plans for the school year to accommodate a possible COVID resurgence within the next two weeks.”

Janet Flanagan, Director of Special Gifts and Communications

South Sioux City Community Schools will continue using their color phase system for the upcoming school year.

We will continue to work with the Dakota County Health Department and adjust our Safe Return Plan  based on local conditions. 

Currently we are still in the “Green Phase” of our Safe Return Plan where masks are optional for students and staff.   

We review recommendations and guidance from the CDC daily and are in constant communications with the Dakota County Health Department and our local School Board.  

Any major updates made to the plan will be shared with staff, students, parents and reflected on our website for the community to view.

Lance Swanson, Director of Communication & Foundation

Briar Cliff University said they won’t be mandating anything but will make continue to monitor any changes CDC makes.

“Briar Cliff University plans to begin the academic year with normal operations. Our campus community and all visitors will be encouraged to follow current CDC safety guidelines. We will continue to monitor the guidance by local, state, and national health officials and we are prepared to adjust operations if needed.”

Suzie Fischer, Assistant Vice President for Marketing & Communications

Morningside University and Western Iowa Tech have not released a statement as of yet.

The guidelines have received some pushback from Gov. Kim Reynolds, calling them “counterproductive” and “not grounded in reality or common sense.” Reynolds signed a law in May prohibiting local officials from requiring masks to be worn in schools and businesses.

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