North County Delays Start of School Year to September 8th, Announces Mask Mandate for Students and Staff Upon Return

(Bonne Terre, MO) In a press release on their social media accounts, the North St. Francois County R-1 School District has announced the delay of the start of the school year to September 8, 2020.  In addition to pushing back the start date, the district said they will require masks for all students and staff during the "Yellow Phase," of their Re-Entry Plan when the school year begins on September 8th.  

North County is the second area school to delay the start of the school year to September 8th, following Farmington R-7's announcement on Tuesday.  Farmington did not announce they will be enforcing a mask mandate, making North County the first area school to require them.

In the statement, the school says, "as a district we have been planning for re-entry over the past several months.  Careful consideration has been given to preparing an environment where all students feel excited to learn. As a staff, we miss each of the students and can’t wait to serve them in person or virtually very soon."

"Pushing back the start date will provide a better opportunity to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our community. When we return on September 8, we will open school in the Yellow Phase of our Re-Entry Plan. The district will require masks for all students and staff during this phase as an additional measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to prepare for serving students."

The announcement comes on the same day the St. Francois County Health Department announced there are 311 active cases in the county as of August 19th, up from 116 on August 10th.

The full statement can be read below.  B104/KFMO has reached out to the North St. Francois County School District for comment.