Radford City Public Schools extends mask policy survey

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford City Public Schools is leaving its fall mask policy up to the community.

The school district recently extended its mask policy survey, ahead of the next school board meeting.

School leaders say the information they’re receiving is crucial for the upcoming school year.

“The feedback we wanted to see, how our community felt about not only masks but mitigation strategies, we’d like to really - we’re so small, in such a prideful community - that we really like to have our whole school community involved in a lot of the decision making,” said Robert Graham, Radford City Public School’s superintendent.

Leaders say as of August 3, survey results show about 55% of the school community would like masks to be optional.

“We’ll see about 25% would like them required and about 25% would like the folks that have been vaccinated to not have to wear them,” said Graham.

Although some survey results are still rolling in, and some are still divided on many mitigation strategies, the one thing that remains consistent, is that more than 90% of students will be returning to in-person learning.

Graham says after speaking with many other school and health leaders in the New River Valley, others are seeing similar feedback.

“We all want masks to be optional, I mean we really do, but we also want our school communities to be safe and it’s our job to protect our students and staff. And if masks do protect, and that is a recommendation that we’re getting from the CDC and the New River Valley Health Department, you know I think that we have to listen to them, but we also want to make sure that we’re listening to our community too,” said Graham.

Their first day is August 16 and will be a staggered start. Half of the students will start the next day.

“I really worry about our children, our students and what they faced over the last 18 to 20 months. But students are resilient, and our staff has been wonderful with this pandemic,” said Graham.

Graham says they hope to announce the decision August 11.

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