QUINCY (WGEM) -- The Quincy Public School Board voted unanimously to make masks optional for the upcoming school year.
On Tuesday, Superintendent Roy Webb released the district's COVID-19 precaution plan, which is what the board voted on Wednesday night. The plan is for the start of the 2021-22 school year and does not require masks in schools, but acknowledge adjustments to the plan may have to be made as coronavirus cases rise locally.
The majority of audience members wanted masks to be optional because they said parents should get to decide what's best for their kids.
"What I like about the plan is that we have options. I think ultimately the parents need to be responsible for their children's health. I like that we have choices," said Alan Richardson.
Some auidnece members wanted the school Board to listen more to sceintific experts than local parents when deciding on COVID measures.
"At a certain point we need to demonstrate to QPS students that it's not about what is popular. It's about what is been shown empirically through science and interpreted by experts who know what they're talking about," said Jennifer Bock-Nelson.
School Board Superintendent Sayeed Ali thinks this is the best option for keeping students safe and many parents happy this fall.
"We don't take a position and then that's just it. Like it's in our handbook for the full year. We will constantly be monitoring," said Ali.
QPS Superintendent Roy Webb said 3-feet social distancing will be followed when possible by utilizing hallways, greenspace, and outdoor areas to maintain that distance.
Students and staff with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed in schools and must quarantine.
Webb stated school-related events will resume at full capacity this fall and will be back on a traditional schedule.
He said the plan could change and restrictions could be tightened based on current trends with COVID-19 in the community.
You can read the district's plan in its entirety here.