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Woodford County schools won't require students or staff to wear masks

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Posted at 10:21 AM, Aug 06, 2021

VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Woodford County school district will give its families a choice when it comes to face coverings in school.

“We’ve decided to suggest masks in the classroom or indoors for all students and staff, but it won’t be a requirement,” said Superintendent Danny Adkins.

Adkins then added that masks will be required on school busses since that is a state mandate.

Adkins, who is in his first year on the job at Woodford, didn’t take COVID-19 lightly in his previous position. While Floyd County’s superintendent, he employed virtual learning for most of the last school year and said he isn’t about to take the virus lightly now.

“We looked at the data with Woodford County being one of the highest populations of vaccinated adults in the state of Kentucky, if not the highest, he said.

And while the county remains in a red zone now, Adkins felt comfortable with what he said was one of the toughest decisions of his professional careers, because his district’s summer school program came through unscathed.

“We had almost 200 students there for three weeks with no masks and they had no issue,” he said.

Adkins did, naturally, solicit the advice from the experts at the county health department, whose director shared her thoughts about the decision.

“I was asked to provide data at the July 19 board meeting when they were still in the information-gathering phase, and I recommended that masks be worn in school,” Cassie Prather wrote in an e-mail to LEX 18.

“I then reiterated that recommendation last week,” she continued, before adding that she has tremendous respect for Mr. Adkins and the board members.

Adkins indicated that in addition to the health department he heard from many Woodford county families, and estimated that it was about a 65-35 split in favor of those who preferred having the choice.

He’ll continue to work with the country health department, but at the end of the day, this decision (and any future decisions regarding safety in school) stop at his desk. And that is something he said he prefers when speaking with LEX 18 several weeks ago, long before a decision was made.

“This could change two weeks. We do want to monitor, and be as safe and diligent in our efforts to keep our students safe,” he added.

School begins in Woodford County on August 11. Temperature checks will be among the many safety protocols in place when the kids arrive.

For more on what to expect inside the Woodford County schools this year, click here. WCPS Back to School 21-22.pdf - Google Drive