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Avon school board votes to require masks K-6 after 'significant' increase in cases

On Wednesday alone, the district had 14 cases and 308 students quarantined.

AVON, Ind. — Like many districts, Avon Community School Corporation reverted to its old COVID-19 guidelines Wednesday night. 

The school board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to require all K-6 students and staff to mask up regardless of vaccination status starting Thursday.

The vote came during a heated meeting between parents and board members.

This time, public comment was not allowed, but that didn’t stop parents from showing up and speaking out. Many of them protested beforehand outside the school. 

“What’s going on? I just don’t feel like they are being truthful whatsoever,” said Michelle Logan, an Avon parent who opposes masks in schools.  

The new policy will require masks only for elementary and intermediate students because that’s where the district is seeing the majority of cases, unlike last year.

Wednesday alone, the district had 14 cases and 308 students quarantined.  

“COVID is significantly impacting us on levels that we didn’t see 'til November or December of last school year,” said Dr. Scott Wyndham, superintendent of Avon Schools.  

When comparing the start of last school year to this year, the district reported 13 cases compared to the current 91 cases and 220 students quarantined compared to the 1,031 students home this year.  

Many of the quarantined students this year are also testing positive. 

“We quarantined thousands of students last year and very few times did we ever see evidence of COVID spreading in our schools. This year, we have seen situations where students we have quarantined have later tested positive. That’s what really led me to feel like the recommendation should be a return to what we did last year because it worked,” Wyndham said.  

Credit: WTHR/Lauren Kostiuk

By requiring masks, the district can reduce the close contact radius from six feet to three feet. 

“That will certainly allow us to quarantine fewer students, which ultimately means more students will be in school, which is what we want to see,” Wyndham said.  

Masks are still optional for middle and high school students, but the district is seeing a slight increase in cases at Avon Middle School South. The superintendent said they will continue to evaluate the data before making any recommendations.   

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