BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — UPDATE, Aug. 10 | On Tuesday, the Blue Springs School District announced that once the Jackson County mask mandate expires, masks will be optional in the district.
It is another item parents will have to weigh as they make a decision for in-person or virtual learning for their children.
Whichever learning mode is selected by Aug. 13 will remain for the entire semester.
ORIGINAL STORY, Aug. 9 | Parents in the Blue Springs School District now have until Friday to decide whether their child will be in the classroom this fall or opt for virtual learning.
The choice is part of the district's back-to-school procedures, which were discussed during Monday night's school board meeting.
"I think for parents who are faced with not being able to vaccinate their children because they're too young, I think that that isn't a fair option for them," Kelly Barnes, a BSSD parent, said. "It gives them the decision to keep their children home if they so choose."
District leaders said parents will be able to reconsider their decision for the spring semester.
In line with Jackson County's mandate, which requires everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in indoor public spaces, all BSSD students, staff, and visitors are required to wear a mask – upsetting some parents.
"For a young kid to not be able to see expressions and that is huge for development, you know, for our young ones," Shelley McCoskey, a BSSD parent, said. "Even our our adults."
When it comes to quarantining, the district will exempt those who are fully vaccinated, unless that individual shows symptoms. Everyone else who is considered a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to isolate for 14 days.
Parents are feeling for those who have a tough decision to make.
"Parents that don't have that luxury, that have to go work on site, what are they going to do?" Brennon Hartshorn, a BSSD parent said. "They have to find daycare or grandparents, hopefully, something like that."