KAUKAUNA — Face masks will be optional for all students, staff and visitors this fall after the Kaukauna Area School District board of education on Monday approved the recommendation in its back-to-school plan.

READ THE FULL PLAN HERE.

The meeting was moved to the auditorium to accomodate a large group of parents who registered to speak before the board.

The majority of speakers urged the board to allow families to decide for themselves if their children should wear masks. The comment period lasted roughly an hour.

Many present took the board to task for last year’s decision to require masks and limit in-person days in school.

This year’s plan does allow the district to change instructional and mitigation models with changing COVID-19
conditions.

Among the keys to success are vaccinations, board member Chad Berken said during discussion of the plan.

““If you want to not have masks, and if you want to have a normal school year, absolutely do everything you can to improve that community vaccination rate. It is your choice,” Berken said.

However that didn’t sit well with members of the audience, who attempted to shout Berken down.

In the end the board voted to approve the plan without changes.

Currently, approximately 80% of staff have been vaccinated and depending on student age, the vaccine rate ranges from 26% to 38%.

As part of the plan, families will be asked to continue self screening.

Unvaccinated, KASD sibling/household members of a positive case will be required to quarantine for
10 days, according to the back-to-school plan.

Asymptomatic KASD siblings/household members of a positive case who provide documentation that
they are fully vaccinated are not required to quarantine.

KASD siblings/household members of a positive case who are not vaccinated must use the 10 day
quarantine guidance (from the last date of contact) for return to school and school activities.

The decision on masks is in line with other area school districts.

Appleton and Kimberly also will be mask-optional this year.

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.