DAVISON, Mich. (WJRT) - COVID-19 measures will be much less noticeable for Davison Community Schools when they reopen for a new academic year in just over a month.
Administrators are planning to begin the year Aug. 16 without a face mask mandate in schools, but the district will follow federal regulations and require masks on buses. All Davison schools will return will fully in-person classes without many other COVID-19 measures in the new school year.
Michigan schools are allowed to determine their own policies for preventing COVID-19, including face mask rules. The latest advice from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t require masks for fully vaccinated students.
State and federal health officials still recommend face coverings for students and staff not vaccinated for COVID-19. But Davison Community Schools Superintendent Kevin Brown said the district will not require anyone to wear masks in schools regardless of vaccine status.
Students and staff are welcome to wear a mask if they choose, but it will not be required of anyone. Some parents and staff members are happy to leave masks in the rearview mirror.
“I’m excited. I have a daughter who is autistic and she’s really struggled with it. Even my ‘normal’ per se children had a hard time with it as well,” said Melissa Keller, who is a parent of three and the Davison cheer coach.
She’s looking forward to a mask-free school year.
“I think that it interferes with learning a lot,” Keller said. “I do know that it interferes with sports. As a coach, it was a struggle myself wearing a mask during sporting events.”
However, masks will be required on Davison school buses, because federal health mandates still require face coverings on public transportation -- which includes school buses.
Davison schools will continue some social distancing, handwashing and enhanced cleaning measures when the new school year begins Aug. 16. Brown said most of the other measures will be very similar to the 2019-2020 school year before COVID-19 hit.
Davison middle and high school students will return to their full six-hour school day with lunch periods in their respective cafeteria. Elementary students also will return to eating in their cafeterias rather than remaining secluded in pods and eating in classrooms.
“In other words, we plan to return to normal,” Brown wrote in a letter to the district.
Davison schools also will not require planned COVID-19 testing for athletes or anyone participating in extra-curricular activities.
Brown pointed out that fewer than 2% of COVID-19 tests in Genesee County are positive and the county is seeing only 8.7 new cases of the illness per million people every day.
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