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List: Mask policies in Siouxland school districts

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Dakota Valley students wear masks for COVID-19

Jaxon Hennies lifts weights while Byrgin Gunderson spots for him during P.E. class at Dakota Valley High School, Thursday in North Sioux City, S.D. 

With community spread of the novel coronavirus still a threat in Iowa, administrators and school board members have decided whether facial coverings should be required or simply recommended for pupils, teachers and staff now that school has begun in late August.

Throughout the tri-state area, some people have said wearing masks all day would be derogatory health-wise for students, while others have countered that public health officials have said that is not so.

The Journal emailed each school district with a high school in Siouxland, and compiled the answers from those superintendents and principals who responded.

IOWA

Alta-Aurelia: Masks are required by students when in hallways and not able to social distance, and in other instances are not required for teachers and pupils.

Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools: Students and instructors are required to wear masks or face shields in classrooms, hallways and buses.

Denison: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses during times they cannot be socially distanced at six feet apart.

Kingsley-Pierson: Students in grades 5-12 are required to wear masks on buses, in hallways, commons area, restrooms, and where social distancing cannot take place. Masks are encouraged, but not required for K-4 students. Teachers and staff have been asked to model the wearing of masks, so students might follow their lead.

Lawton-Bronson: Masks are required on buses and in buildings for staff and students in common areas such as hallways and lunchroom. They are not required in classrooms when social distancing can be achieved.

Le Mars: Students and teachers are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses.

Maple Valley Anthon-Oto: Masks are required on buses and in buildings when social distancing is not possible for students and staff.

MOC-Floyd Valley: Masks are not required for pupils or staff, but recommended in all settings where social distancing is not feasible. Visitors to the building are required to wear masks.

MMCRU: Students are required to wear masks on buses, and in buildings they will only be required by pupils and teachers when unable socially distance in classes and hallways.

OABCIG: Students are not required to wear masks on buses, and in buildings they will only be required in the classrooms where a teacher has health concerns.

Sergeant Bluff-Luton: Masks are required on buses. Within buildings they are required for teachers and students in grades 6-12 when social distancing is not possible, and in the lower grades they are encouraged when distancing not possible.

Sheldon: Masks are required on buses, since social distancing is not possible. In buildings, masks are recommended for students, but not required. For employees, bus drivers and cafeteria staff are required to wear masks, while they are recommended for other workers such as teachers.

Sibley-Ocheyedan: Masks are not required for pupils or employees, but recommended in all settings where social distancing is not feasible.

Sioux Center: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses.

Sioux Central: Masks are required for students in hallways and the lunch line, and recommended in buses and school settings where social distancing is not feasible.

Sioux City: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses.

Siouxland Christian: Wearing a mask is recommended, but not required for students and staff in buildings.

Spencer: When social distancing is not possible in classrooms, hallways and buses, face masks are required for students and staff.

Spirit Lake: Students and staff are required to wear face masks in hallways and buses, and since they will be socially distanced in classrooms, masks are recommended but not required there.

Storm Lake: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses during times they cannot be socially distanced at six feet apart.

Storm Lake St. Marys: Masks are required on buses, and in the school building for students and staff when social distancing is not possible.

Trinity Christian (Hull): Masks are not required for pupils or employees.

West Monona: Masks are required on buses and in buildings when social distancing is not possible for students and staff. For younger students, the larger elementary classrooms will often allow for pupils to not wear masks a majority of the time.

Woodbury Central: Wearing a mask is recommended, but not required for students and staff in buildings. They are required on buses, since students cannot adequately socially distance.

NEBRASKA

Allen: Masks are required on buses and in buildings when social distancing is not possible for students and staff.

Emerson-Hubbard: Students and staff are required to wear a face mask or covering whenever they are unable to maintain six feet of social distancing in classrooms, hallways and when riding in school vehicles.

Hartington-Newcastle: Masks are required on buses, in hallways and in the lunch room, and only required in classrooms when social distancing by teachers and pupils is not possible.

Lyons Decatur Northeast: Masks are required by teachers and pupils on buses and in buildings, unless parents ask for their children to be exempted.

Ponca: Masks are required by students in hallways, classrooms and buses only when they are not able to socially distance.

South Sioux City: Facial coverings are required for all teachers, staff and students in all buildings and on buses.

Walthill: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in buildings and buses.

Wayne: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in buildings and buses.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Alcester-Hudson: Wearing a mask is recommended, but not required for students and staff in buildings and buses.

Dakota Valley: Staff members are required to wear masks and students must wear them on buses. Within buildings, masks are generally required, such as older students must wear masks when they cannot socially distance, while younger students do not move among several classrooms, so they do not have to wear masks when they are able to stay within their own classroom with their own section of classmates, but must wear them in hallways.

Elk Point-Jefferson: Masks are required on buses, and required within buildings by teachers and pupils only when social distancing is not possible.

Vermillion: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses. The only exception is for people with health conditions that are exacerbated by masks.

Yankton: Students and instructors are required to wear masks in classrooms, hallways and buses.

NOTE: School districts that did not respond to Journal inquiries by Thursday's deadline include: Boyden-Hull, Central Lyon, Cherokee, George-Little Rock, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Harris-Lake Park, Hinton, Le Mars Gehlan, Newell-Fonda, Okoboji, Remsen St. Mary's, Ridge View, River Valley, Rock Valley, South O'Brien, Spencer, East Sac, Unity Christian, West Lyon, Western Christian and Westwood; and Bancroft Rosalie, Wakefield, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Winnebaqo and Hartington Cedar Catholic in Nebraska.

Photos: 42 historic images of Sioux City schools

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School officials say it is not practical to only place about 15 students per bus, which would allow for social distancing measures. As a result, many districts that do not require masks inside school buildings are mandating them on buses.

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