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Ramona Unified School District students return to school after mask mandate reversal

Posted at 12:24 PM, Aug 19, 2021

RAMONA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Students in the Ramona Unified School District went back to school Thursday just days after the school board reversed its decision on face mask wearing on campuses.

For the staff and teachers at Ramona Elementary School, the first day of school is about welcoming their families back on campus and doing their best to make them comfortable.

Ramona Elementary Principal Pixie Sulser said it was business as usual, as her school has been on campus for full-time, in-person learning since April.

What wasn’t clear Thursday morning was whether the school board’s decision regarding mask mandates would have any impact on the start to the new school year as things did get heated during the school board meeting earlier this week.

Initially, the board decided to make masks optional. However, they pulled back and voted on Monday to require masking indoors until it can sort out the legal ramifications.

Under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order, all California schools K-12 are required to wear masks inside, something Sulser says shouldn’t be a problem.

“We have to follow the state mandate. I’m not anticipating we’re going to have any problems. Our families have been very supportive. They want their kids in school. They support our site,” said Sulser.

Parent Justine Runzel said while she’s glad masks will still be worn for health and safety reasons, she’s also a little concerned this will have an impact on social skills.

“When you’re learning, you learn facial expressions and sarcasm; with masks, you don’t know if someone’s smiling,” said Runzel.