The Elmbrook School District voted on new thresholds for COVID-19 mitigation efforts moving forward this school year. The vote comes as the delta variant continues to spread and parents are raising concerns.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, one parent said, “our proposed mitigation strategies and thresholds are not enough to protect our children in light of the more contagious delta variant.”
Currently, the district has both mask-required and mask-optional classrooms, decided upon by parents.
Another parent opposed to any further COVID-19 restrictions and the decision on masks to be made by parents said, “we respect the decisions of those that make those calls for their family. Now it’s time to respect our decision.”
School Board President Scott Wheeler said the debate over COVID-19 mitigation measures has divided the community, and he believed Tuesday night's decision would do the same.
“Probably no matter what this board decides, because we are getting input from a divided community, it is going to be somewhat unpopular,” said Wheeler.
In the end, with only one opposing vote, the board decided to move forward with some of the recommendations for future mitigation measures that focused directly on the Elmbrook Schools community, which includes about 45,000 students, family and staff.
They decided that if a school’s absentee rate due to COVID is over 10% or if more than 41 students per day were considered COVID positive or probable, masks could be required for students. The board also decided that if any thresholds that require additional measures are met, they will hold an immediate meeting to discuss.
According to the district, currently 80% of the staff of Elmbrook Schools and 67.5% of the community that are eligible are vaccinated.