Gosnell continues mask mandate

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Gosnell School District decided to continue with their mask mandate in their Sept. 27 board meeting.

The board reported 18 active student cases across the district as of Sept. 24. The report also displayed close contacts for students from both inside and outside of school.

“We are pretty much hovering from four to seven percent that’s affected by [covid regulations] day in and day out,” Gosnell superintendent Bonard Mace said. He also pointed out that while holding the mandate, the district has also strived to create environments where masks can be pull off throughout the day.

“We’ve gotten better. Sometimes we’ve created situations where we are six feet apart and take the mask off. We tell the teachers the same thing. If they can create a situation where a child can sit without a mask on, that's fine also,” Mace said. “The goal is really simple, to keep as many kids here at school and educate as many of them as we possibly can.”

Despite the issues caused by the pandemic last school year, the board also reported a number of raised test scores in the district.

Curriculum coordinator Anita McKinney reported that students in grades seven through 10 scored higher than the state average in five of the 12 areas on the ACT Aspire exam. Those areas consisted of 7th and 8th grade math , as well as 10th grade math, literacy and science.

Elementary principal Tiffany Kennemore also reported that grades three through six scored higher than the state average on all but two areas on the ACT Aspire Summative Assessment.

She also reported that 84 percent of the kindergarten class scored on or above grade level in reading on the iReady testing for K-2.

“I was really proud of the kindergarten because they were the only group that got sent home for two weeks and still scored exceptionally well on the iReady test at the end of the year,” Kennemore said.

Kennemore also confirmed that parent/teacher conferences will continue to be held virtually, and no guests are allowed on the campus without an appointment. The elementary is still striving to keep communication with the parents and teacher through email to keep parents involved.