Following the guidance of local and state public health officials, the Marion School District will continue to require in-person students, staff, and school visitors to wear face coverings through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced that the statewide mask mandate will end on Wednesday, March 31. However, the state’s public health emergency remains in effect, and state officials continue to urge all Arkansans to wear face coverings and social distance as a way to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Dr. Aaron Mitchell of Marion, who serves as the district’s medical director, has also recommended keeping the face-covering policy in effect until the end of the school year.
“The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority,” said Dr. Glen Fenter, Marion superintendent. “It is encouraging to see the number of Covid-19 infections continuing to fall, both locally and across the state. It demonstrates that the safety precautions we have been adhering to have been working. Now is the time to make sure we do everything we can to ensure that we don’t see a resurgence in cases. That’s why we are listening to the experts and keeping our policy on face coverings in place through the end of the school year.”
Ultimately, Fenter said, keeping face coverings will be a way for the district to achieve increasing levels of normalcy, both this spring and in the months ahead. The Marion School District face-covering policy requires face coverings for all students grades K-12, as well as all staff and school visitors.
“I want to personally thank our students, our staff, and our families for all the efforts and sacrifices they have put in over the past 12 months,” Fenter said. “Just this month, more than 250 of our staff members received vaccinations in hopes of keeping themselves and others safe. It’s working. The numbers are falling. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just must continue to persevere."
With a growing enrollment of nearly 3,900 students, the Marion School District is committed to helping students develop the academic, social, and decision-making skills needed to become productive citizens in the rapidly changing technological world. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.