Beaver Dam School Board Deadlocked On Mask Mandate

(Beaver Dam) Following a four-to-four tie vote, the Beaver Dam School Board Monday night held-off on making a decision regarding masks for returning students. The board did approve a “Return To Learn” plan minus the mask directive.

School board members indicated that they received feedback on both sides of the issue since the administration sent out an email to parents Friday indicating that masks would be optional, pending board approval. There were a half dozen parents who spoke during public comments Monday night, all in favor of a mask mandate.

Stephanie Wiedenhoeft was among those who said they would remove their children without a mask mandate in place. Physician and parent Seth Barudin urged the board to follow the recommendations of county, state and federal health officials.

The plan would give Superintendent Mark DiStefano the flexibility to implement or remove policies like mask mandates without waiting for board approval. DiStefano says the plan does align with school districts in the county and the majority of schools within the greater region.

The school board’s Joanne Tyjeski says DiStefano’s track record last year proves he can be trusted to make the right decisions. Board member Marge Jorgensen says the district should be proactive not reactive when it comes to the health of students.

The school board is expected to meet in special session to make a decision before the school year begins.

Part of the plan that was approved Monday night says distancing will be laxed to three feet with classroom settings going back to normal, but cleaning protocols will stay in place. Face coverings will be required for students on school buses, per federal policy.

Superintendent DiStefano will be our guest Tuesday afternoon on WBEV’s Community Comment starting at 12:35pm.