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Luxemburg-Casco School District restores masking and quarantine protocols after loosening guidelines

"I cried, a lot."
Posted at 10:25 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 06:02:16-04

LUXEMBURG, Wis. (NBC 26) -- The Luxemburg-Casco School District reverted back to its original COVID protocols after a Monday night school board vote, less than one week after it decided to make masking optional.

"I cried, a lot," district parent Roxy Pryes said when she found out about last week's controversial decision.

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The school board unanimously voted to once again follow county COVID-19 guidelines.

The school board unanimously voted to once again follow county COVID-19 guidelines, requiring masks indoors and quarantining for positive coronavirus cases and close contacts. Just last Wednesday, those requirements were voted down.

"Having that happen was really exciting, like a big moment for us," said seventh-grader Rylen Hinckley, who was happy to stop wearing his mask for a few days at school.

At Luxemburg-Casco schools, students will be allowed to take off their face coverings when outdoors. But last week's temporary decision to rid of face coverings and quarantining protocols left some parents and students overjoyed, and some others disappointed.

BACKGROUND: Luxemburg-Casco school board lifts COVID-19 restrictions

"We're too close to hopefully being done with this for us to take ten steps back," Pryes said.

Without COVID protocol requirements, the district says opposing athletic teams were uncomfortable facing Luxemburg-Casco teams. At Monday's board meeting, the reinstatement of extended safety measures follows conference and WIAA sporting guidelines.

"There are no easy answers as far as the best ways to return to normalcy coming out of the pandemic," the district said in a statement obtained by NBC 26. "There are many opinions out there. We, like district leadership in other places, are doing the best we can with the available information."

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Parents like Pryes attended the special meeting Monday night that was called to address last week's policy change. The goal of the meeting was to clarify or revise COVID requirements.

"The school board took an even playing field where everybody had to wear a mask, and they made it very uneven," Pryes said before the protocol reinstatement.

Members of the public attended and spoke out with concerns or praises. Pryes says without masking and certain quarantine requirements, she feared for those outside the district.

"I don't want to see mass numbers in our community breaking out because of something as exciting and as rewarding as graduating from high school," she said.

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At Monday's board meeting, the reinstatement of extended safety measures follows conference and WIAA sporting guidelines.

But Hinckley didn't want to see the district reverse course.

"I was really happy that the masks were gone seeing as they were more like getting in our way," Hinckley said. "I can understand how they can help, but it was getting really annoying having them."

As a student, Hinckley says the board's decision to end masking last week fit his best interest.

"I know a lot of my friends, they've known that it's easier to pay attention because you can hear through the masks," Hinckley said.

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And though both parents and students say they want what's best, the district superintendent says there is no middle ground.

"Masks to no masks, then back to masks is really gonna mess everything up," Hinckley said.

There are currently 15 active cases among students in the district, which is defined as an outbreak by the Department of Health Services. According to District Superintendent Glenn Schlender, the high school started seeing an uptick in COVID cases nearly 10 days after students and parents held an off-site prom in the past month.

Rising cases were the original reason Schlender says the district called last Wednesday's meeting, which later resulted in relaxed COVID guidelines. The superintendent says it was a 'surprising' turn.

"There's some unintended consequences," Schlender told NBC 26 about the decision to get rid of masks, which was overturned last night. "Everybody's making their decision in the best interest of the kids. You don't fault anyone for doing that."

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Schlender says Luxemburg-Casco formed a coronavirus team last year, which includes a health official. The district has been in person since the first day of school last fall.

"I hope we look back and say it was our finest moment and we have no regrets," Schlender said about how his schools have handled the pandemic.

According to Schlender, his district received over 100 open enrollment request from families in the Green Bay area for the next school year.