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Bozeman school officials expected to make mask decision this month

Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 18:56:38-04

BOZEMAN — It’s a hot topic and a very relevant one right now: will Bozeman students be required to wear masks this fall?

“We are seeing changes in guidance from the CDC, hence we’re getting the task force back together, and the board will most likely be discussing these recommendations that come out of the task force meeting during the August trustee meeting,” said Interim Superintendent Casey Bertram.

A decision is expected to be made either August 16 or August 23.

“The board of trustees makes final decisions regarding masks. So, anytime the board is taking action or having discussion about specific agenda items, those are public meetings and there’s public participation in those. So, parents can weigh in or community members can weigh in,” Bertram said.

For a little background information, students were required to wear a mask for the previous school year, but it was optional this summer. Certain factors will influence the next decision.

“They’re looking at local changing COVID conditions. Right now with school not in session, we only have community data that they’ll be looking at," said Bertram. "They’ll also look at changes in guidance from different organizations. They’ll be looking at updated guidance from American Academy of Pediatrics, Governor Gianforte, and others, and then they’ll also be listening to their local health care providers.”

MTN NEWS talked to Bozeman school board officials because the Bozeman School District is the largest district in this area. We will be following up with other districts as well.

Based on the district's COVID metrics and matrix for the 20-21 school year, there were 595 positive COVID-19 cases from both staff and students out of the 7,791 total staff and student population, which is less than 8 percent.