Masks now optional in Allen schools

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

OBERLIN — Masks are no longer required, but are recommended, for Allen Parish schools beginning Thursday.

“We are going to change, or make adjustments to our mask mandate,” Superintendent Kent Reed said  in an announcement Wednesday. “Throughout this entire school year it has been required that students wear masks. Now we are going to recommend that students wear masks, but it will no longer be required.”

Parents will have the option of whether or not their child needs to wear a mask at school, Reed said.

Face masks will still be required on school buses.

“We recommend that they (masks) be worn, but we will no longer require it due to information from the governor,” he said.

Schools will continue to offer masks for students requesting one.

The school district will continue to follow CDC guidelines on quarantining.

“We hope this is forever and hopefully we will never have to mandate masks in our schools again,” Reed said. “The COVID numbers will dictate that.”

The number of COVID cases in Allen Parish schools are continuing to decline, he said.

“The schools have gotten better and better,” he said. “We’ve had very few cases in the last three or four weeks.”

School officials are hoping to welcome back students whose parents chose to move them to homeschooling because of the mask mandate.

“We welcome students in our school anytime,” Reed said, adding that some parents may wait to return their students to public schools. “If things continue to go well, we will meet with parents about their child’s future.”

He encourages all students who are feeling well to continue to attend school in-person daily.

“If your children are feeling well, I want to encourage you to have kids in school,” he said. “We have a lot to cover and a lot to make up and things to cover with students.”