Students and teachers at Caldwell High School in Caldwell, Idaho, will be required to wear masks through the beginning of September.
The mask mandate, which will also apply to Washington and Lincoln elementary schools in Caldwell, will be in effect through Sept. 3 as a “precaution for the next two weeks,” said Jessica Watts, Caldwell School District’s communication director, in an email update.
At the district’s board meeting this week, trustees decided they would monitor the number of absences at schools, and if that reaches 10%, they would “meet to discuss next steps.” That preceded the discussion that led to the Caldwell High mandate.
“We are strongly encouraging families to keep their children home if they or a family member is sick,” Watts said. “Masks are still recommended at the other schools in the district.”
The new mandate comes as districts across Idaho are reconsidering their mask and safety policies as COVID-19 cases surge in the state and public health officials warn about the more transmissible delta variant.
Districts are facing pressure from both sides of the issue: those who want mask mandates and those fighting for mask-optional policies.
The Boise School District earlier this month announced masks would be required for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. The West Ada School District is scheduled to discuss its back-to-school safety protocols Tuesday night.