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Masks optional on first day of school in Mooresville Graded School District

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 1:56 PM EDT
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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Masks were optional on the first day of school in the Mooresville Graded School District in Iredell County.

“Parents want to get them out the door, they want to go back so it’s good for everybody,” said Lisa Kiral, whose child started going 10th grade on Monday.

”A little nervous but, otherwise, I’m just going to go with the flow. Whatever the adults tell me to do, I’m gonna do.” said 8th grader Jordan Tarver.

The school system made it optional for students to wear masks but included several thresholds that could lead to a change in that policy, if needed. The district’s Board of Education held an emergency meeting on July 25 to approve the mask optional policy.

“If our county were to move to that orange or red, we will then require masks,” said Tanae McLean with the district. “We have a few other thresholds that our Board decided on, such as if we see internal spread in a classroom we could mask a classroom, if we see a cluster in a school we could mask a school, so we have several safety measures in place.”

A district spokesperson confirmed that a remote learning option is available to students this school year.

“I didn’t really want him to go,” said Lisa Heaggans, the mother of a student at Mooresville High School, “because of the COVID and all the kids and you don’t know who is vaccinated and the mask issue.”

“My son is vaccinated, and he’s been past the two weeks, but I did tell him it’s not a bad idea to wear it, so I think he’s just going to feel it out and see how he feels comfortable,” said parent Melissa Decosta-Smith. “In close spaces I’m inclined to wear mine as well.”

The school system also offered the MGSD Online Academy, a virtual school for parents and students who preferred not to have in-person learning. According to the school system, MGSD Online Academy (MOA) is an “opportunity intended to support learners that are committed to learning online for the long term and prefer a virtual learning experience to a physical school building experience.”

K-6 students will be provided with synchronous (live) instruction where students communicate with a teacher in a class group lesson using videoconferencing, along with materials for independent self-paced (asynchronous) study.

All students in grades 4-12 received a MacBook Air for use at school or at home. Second and third graders received one to use at school. Kindergarteners and first graders received an iPad to use at school as well.

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