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Hortonville Area School District ends threshold to require masks in grades K-8; parents respond

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 00:12:14-05

HORTONVILLE, Wis. (NBC 26) — Denielle Everson has two special needs children in 3rd and 5th grade. Last year, they were homeschooled.

"It was a very rough year, and we're just terrified that we might have to go back to that," Everson said.

Since October, Hortonville school protocols triggered required masking for grades K through 8 if positive Covid cases reached a 2-percent threshold inside certain district buildings.

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Since October, Hortonville school protocols triggered required masking for grades K through 8 if positive Covid cases reached a 2-percent threshold inside certain district buildings.

But on Monday night, HASD announced that rule is no longer in effect.

"The second I got the email, I called my spouse and said what are we going to do?" Everson said.

Everson's fully-vaccinated kids now attend the Hortonville district. And every day, they choose to wear masks.

Still, with face coverings fully optional, the mother is nervous.

"Just with having two autoimmune disorders in the family and several immunocompromised family members," she said.

As of Tuesday, the district's Greenville Middle School is at a 2.25 percent mark with 17 active cases.

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As of Tuesday, the district's Greenville Middle School is at a 2.25 percent mark with 17 active cases.

NBC 26 called the superintendent for an interview and did not hear back.

But we heard from parents who support the district's latest decision and declined further comment.

"I'm just hoping that things don't get bad enough that the school district has to look back and say 'we made a mistake,'" Everson said.

The Hortonville district website states vaccine availability for elementary and middle school students played a part in the decision to makes masks fully optional.

And while her kids will still go to class, Everson hopes the young students remain in good health.

"Prevention is much easier to handle than regret," she said.

Greenville Elementary currently has nine active cases out of 640 students. Greenville Middle has 17 active out of 755 students. North Greenville Elementary has 13 current positive cases out of 453 students. And with 516 enrolled, Hortonville Elementary has just five active Covid cases.