Poplar Bluff School Dist. sees change in student attendance after issuing face mask requirement

Poplar Bluff School Dist. sees change in student attendance after issuing face mask requirement
Mask requirement for grades 4-12 impacts contact tracing for Poplar Bluff schools. (Source: KFVS)

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Poplar Bluff Schools Superintendent, Dr. Scott Dill said requiring masks for grades 4-12 is helping more kids stay in school.

“Our quarantine numbers have come down significantly,” Dill said.

Before the rule began in early November, Dill said a lot of kids had to miss class.

“Our quarantine number in the district were approaching 10 percent, on a district this size that’s a lot of kids that weren’t where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Dill said.

Now, he said only about 4 percent of the student population is in quarantine, and he believed it was due to the masks.

“I think teachers in those grade levels are appreciative of the fact that number one, we are taking precautions; number two, that we’re doing everything we can to keep the doors open,” he said.

Teachers like Krystal Dover are grateful that fewer students are learning from home.

“My kids mean the world to me, my personal kids as well as my students in my classroom, and I couldn’t imagine if I made them sick or something else, so I like to be at work, I like to be here working with them so it just works out for everyone involved,” she said.

Dover said having more kids in the classroom significantly improves their grades. She teaches students who need a little extra help with math.

“Typically, we see the struggling happening when they’ve been on a long quarantine or when they’ve been out for a significant amount of time. Attendance definitely plays a part in that,” she said.

Dill said he believed this was a step in the right direction to keep giving kids the best education possible and the mask requirement is the same one adopted by the state of Missouri in mid-November.

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