Superintendent Thomas Ahart notified employees that Des Moines Public Schools will continue its mask mandate as it awaits further clarification from a revised injunction by the U.S. District Court and to give families the opportunity to modify IEP and 504 plans in light of a possible future change in the universal mask mandate.
”While we hope to see a decline in the number of Omicron cases soon, ending a mask mandate at this time means more students, teachers and staff will contract COVID-19,” Ahart said. “Students with disabilities would be placed at a greater risk; and the likelihood that schools may temporarily close or services such as school bus transportation be interrupted would increase.
”DMPS urges everyone to follow sound science and get vaccinated if eligible (including a booster), stay home if showing symptoms and wear masks in public spaces at this time.”
Ahart said the ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals stated blocking Iowa’s law against mask mandates be narrowed to those “schools and districts” attended by the children of parents who sued to stop the state’s ban.