CASPER (WNE) – Natrona County School District officials will seek to end the mask mandate in schools, the district announced Saturday, just days after the school board voted to keep mask rules in effect through the end of the school year. 

The district statement did not give an explanation for the sudden change of direction. However, the shift comes two days before demonstrations were planned to protest against the board’s decision against pursuing an exemption to Wyoming’s statewide mask rule. 

“The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees and the Superintendent have developed a path forward that will result in a variance request to the Statewide Public Health Order #1 (face covering order) in K-12 schools and facilities on May 10, 2021,” the district wrote in a statement sent to all staff and parents. “This will allow staff time to develop and implement plans for students and staff who have concerns regarding the removal of the statewide face covering order.” 

The district, which has had a mask requirement since schools reopened in the fall, has only 34 days remaining in the school year. 

On April 19, the board discussed whether to ask the state for permission to end the mask requirement. Board members were briefed on a survey that found 80% of parents and 70% of staff supported lifting the mask requirement.

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