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Smith-Green Community Schools leaders adopt temporary mask mandate after return to in-person learning

CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- After sending students home for 2 weeks to go through virtual learning amid increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, officials with Smith-Green Community Schools are now making a different move.

Members of the Smith-Green Community Schools board voted unanimously to implement a temporary mask mandate

Tuesday night during a special meeting, the school board voted unanimously, 5-0, to move to a temporary mask mandate. 

Audience members attend Thursday night's Smith-Green Community Schools board meeting

All Smith-Green students returned to class Tuesday this week after spending 2 weeks in virtual learning because of an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases among students and staff since the beginning of the new school year.

Fort Wayne's NBC News spoke with the superintendent when the decision was made to go virtual.

It's believed he was the first school leader to make that kind of decision in the Fort Wayne's NBC News viewing area.

"At the time the decision made, we had about 30% of the elementary school out on quarantine or due to a positive case, and then in the junior-senior high, we were at around 20% that were also excluded from school at that time," Superintendent Daniel G. Hile said.

That was out of about 1200 students and 150 staff members.

In response to the return to in-person learning in the classroom, board members made the decision to have all students and staff mask up for the time-being in an effort, they say, to try and continue to bring the number of cases down.

Linda Jackson

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