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GIPS to keep mask policy, COVID protocols through rest of year

GIPS announces plans to keep mask requirements
GIPS announces plans to keep mask requirements(KSNB)
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools doubled down Thursday, saying it will be keeping its mask policy and other COVID-19 protocols through the end of the academic year despite the recent shift in guidance from the CDC.

The district addressed the matter during its regularly scheduled board meeting, admitting it was less-than-ideal when the CDC’s guidance changes were announced less than 24 hours after GIPS took its stance. However, GIPS is sticking with their protocols simply because most of the students can’t get vaccinated. It still didn’t sit well with one parent.

“I don’t remember if it was in a newsletter or in a communication passed along to us, but it was stating and advocating for ‘My Body, My Choice,” which now after reading the most recent communication, I kind of have my doubts on what your thoughts on children vaccinations are,” Angie Nasr said.

Nasr is a mother of two students in GIPS and said it’s been a tough year for her as a parent, as she’s had to sit on the sideline for a lot of her kids’ events and activities due to COVID. She believes with the recent CDC guidance that GIPS should shift course and end its mask policy, and while GIPS has no plans to do so, officials say it’s still important to have the conversation.

Jennifer Worthington, Chief of Strategic Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement

“First of all, we listen,” said Jennifer Worthington, the GIPS Chief of Stategic Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement. “It’s so important to us when people come to our board meeting or anytime that they want to meet with us that we listen, because their perspective is important. It’s important to them. We listen, be respectful, and if there’s any confusion, we can explain why we have our protocols.”

Worthington went on to say that if anyone has questions or concerns about the district’s policies, to feel free to reach out to the district office.

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