Alma, Siloam Springs School Districts head into new school year without mask requirements


ALMA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Many northwest Arkansas schools made decisions this week about mask mandates on its campuses. For many, mask mandates were approved for the upcoming school year but for some others, a requirement was either voted against or not voted on at all.

In the Alma School District, the board did not discuss the issue of a mask mandate in this week’s meeting.

“The feedback we were getting from the community was that, overwhelmingly, they felt like masks being voluntary was the position that the community thought was best,” said Alma Superintendent David Woolly.

But Alma is not the only district going without a mask policy so far this year. The Siloam Springs School Board voted Thursday night against a mask policy.

“To be perfectly honest, we felt like parents and community were split down the middle,” said Siloam Springs Assistant Superintendent Shane Patrick.

Patrick said despite this decision, he and the superintendent actually recommended a mask policy based on what they had seen in other schools, like Marion.

“We’ve seen across the other side of the state in Marion two and a half weeks of school they had over 1,200 kids in quarantine before they had a mask mandate, so that’s my number one concern that we keep kids in the classroom,” Patrick said.

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