Students and staff in the Western Dubuque District buildings will be required to wear masks for five consecutive days when that building’s positivity rate reaches 3% or higher.

School board members made the decision at their Nov. 16 board meeting following a work session on the issue a week earlier.

The district will utilize the district’s dashboard data to determine a temporary mask mandate which will be required for all employees, students, parents and visitors to a building that reaches the 3% threshold.

The mandate will require that the threshold remains in effect or above that level for two or more days, with the mask requirement in effect for a minimum of five days. The mandate will be repealed after that time period if the positivity rate drops below 3% and is expected to remain there for two or more days.

Any outdoor activities, including student recess, or classes and indoor activities such as lunch recess that occur in a large area where distancing can be maintained are excluded from the mandate. In addition, the policy allows for exemptions for medical, religious, brain health or at the discretion of the superintendent.

Board member Mark Tilson said, “This is a nice compromise between doing nothing and going with the CDC recommendation of wearing masks all the time. I think this was well thought out.”

The district is also looking at scheduling vaccination clinics in the buildings. “We are working with a couple of organizations to hold the clinics after the school day,” Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the board.

Mark Frasher, business and finance director for the district, reported on the certified annual enrollment. Frasher told the board the district has 3,612 students, an increase of 31 from the previous year.

In other board action:

• Mark Tilson and Mike Rea were sworn in as board members. Jessica Pape was elected board president and Chad Vaske vice president during the organizational meeting.

• Approved the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) application for modified supplemental amount for fall 2021 students open enrolled out in the current year for whom the district is required to pay tuition in the current year and were not included in the certified enrollment count of the prior year in the amount of $143,779.

• Approved the SBRC application for modified supplemental amount for providing instructional services to limited English proficient (LEP) students being served beyond the five years of weighting in fall 2021 in the amount of $38,725.

• Approved the SBRC application for modified supplemental amount for excess LEP costs in the amount of $347,253 for serving English language learners in the Limited English Instruction Program during the 2020-21 school year.