Jim Jordan 8-11-21 MUSD
Jim Jordan. [Jay Taylor]

The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board will hear and possibly vote on a recommendation from the district staff at its meeting Wednesday for reinstituting a mask mandate on buses and inside school and district buildings.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the MUSD administration building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

District superintendent Dr. Tracey Lopeman said the district’s priority is to preserve in-person learning. “A mask requirement has the potential to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep more kids in school,” she said.

A mask mandate would not be in violation of Gov. Doug Ducey’s order prohibiting such mandates, as that order does not go into effect until Sept. 29.

At least one governing board member, Jim Jordan, appears to be opposed to such a mandate.

“I’m not excited about it; I hate mandates,” Jordan said. “We ought to give parents the information and let them make their own decisions. That’s our policy right now, and I don’t see a need to change it.

Lopeman said the governing board and district staff have been in communication with parents and other members of the community on the issue. She said the district is considering an opt-out possibility for parents who do not wish to have their child wear a mask in school.

Mishell Terry, the district’s coordinator of communications & social media, said the opt-out, which still is being discussed by the district administration, could be as simple as having parents fill out a form allowing their child to attend school without a mask.