The Sioux City Community School District announced today that masks will be required on school buses as of tomorrow. Here is the letter sent out to parents.
Sioux City Community School District Families,
Last May, the Iowa legislature passed a bill, signed by Governor Reynolds, that banned mask mandates on school property in the state of Iowa. Recently, a federal judge put a temporary restraining order on that ban, giving school districts the option to put a mask mandate in place. Because of this, the SCCSD Board of Directors met a week ago to consider a mask mandate. Ultimately, they decided not to move forward with a mask mandate in our school buildings or at school events at this time.
Since that time, the Iowa Department of Education reiterated their position that federal guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supported by the Iowa Department of Public Health, requires masks to be worn on public transportation. In addition, they have been clear the term “public transportation” includes school buses.
To that end, the Sioux City Community School District will implement a mask mandate on our school buses beginning Thursday, September 23. All students and drivers will be expected to wear a mask while traveling on our school buses, even though there is no mask mandate in place for our school buildings or school events. This mask mandate includes extra-curricular travel on school buses, as well as transportation to and from school. The bus mask mandate will remain in effect until we receive guidance that a change to this may be considered. We understand this change could cause frustration for some, and we ask for your patience as we work to make certain we follow all laws in place at the state and federal levels.
The District will have some disposable masks available on our buses; however, every student who rides our school buses should have their own mask. We ask for your assistance in communicating this information to your child.
As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to adjust our protocols and processes as guidance from local, state, and federal agencies evolves.