Gov. Kim Reynolds bans schools from mandating masks, local schools adjusting

Local News

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Thursday morning banning mask mandates across the state in most cases.

HF 847 prevents K-12 schools in Iowa from being able to mandate the use of facemasks. It also disallows cities and counties to require masks in businesses.

This change takes effect with only a few weeks left in the school year.

Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley school districts had board meetings earlier in the week voting to keep the mask mandate through the end of the school year, which now will no longer be in effect.

Teachers at the Pleasant Valley school district spoke with students Thursday morning to help them feel comfortable with the adjustment.

“Kids will respond differently to it because a kindergartner having this world change on them today versus a senior, their ability to comprehend it will be differently,” said Pleasant Valley Superintendent Brian Strusz. “We really said #1 we want our staff to have a conversation with kids today, but in our e-news we sent to our parents, we also ask that parents have conversations with their kids tonight so that they if they were anxious when they came home tonight, they feel more comfortable tomorrow.”

Michelle Morse, the Bettendorf superintendent, said she found out about the change Thursday morning when she woke up.

“To be truthful was it my preference to change this late in the game? No. However, I think we as educators as school districts across the state have shown that we can rise up and adjust and I think people have used the word pivot with flexibility when asked to do so,” she said.

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