By Jeff Harrison
Mid-Del Schools is requiring all students and staff to wear a mask or face covering this upcoming school year.
And the school district is also providing one.
The school board last week approved purchasing neck gaiters for all students and staff to begin the school year next month. The fabric sleeve is worn around the neck and can be pulled over the face and nose to reduce spread of the coronavirus.
The board approved a $40,000 contract with Fallout Sports for 16,000 neck gaiters during a virtual meeting on July 22. The blue masks will be custom designed with the Mid-Del Schools logo.
Superintendent Rick Cobb initially said that students and staff would need to provide their own face mask during the July school board meeting when the back-to-school plan was announced. The district quickly changed direction.
“We were one of the first districts with a mask requirement, and we immediately looked at ways to provide at least one startup face covering appropriate for all students,” Cobb said.
Cobb said they chose the neck gaiters because they can easily be pulled on and off as needed and they are less likely to lose than a mask. Students and staff are free to wear any appropriate face mask or covering.
“We still think people want multiple masks,” he said. “This may not be the look people want, and as long as they have an appropriate face covering it’s okay with us.”
The district solicited bids from three companies. Fallout Sports was significantly less expensive than the competitors BSN Sports ($72,000) and Sleefs.com ($80,000).