Mat-Su Borough school superintendent: No masks required for back-to-school

Colony Middle School

Superintendent of the Mat-Su Borough School District Randy Trani presented his school Covid-19 mitigation plan to the borough school board on Wednesday night.

The plan to be rolled out is school-specific, and is dramatically different from that being implemented by the Anchorage School District, where it’s “one size fits all” and students and staff must be masked when in campus facilities, except in limited situations.

For Mat-Su schools that have no cases of Covid-19, no masks are required of students and staff, while if there is a Covid-19 diagnosis at a school, the administration will review information from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and has an option of masks or other measures. If there is a widespread outbreak at a school, the campus may be closed temporarily, with students doing distance learning.

“We are treating each individual school building as a community,” said Thomas Bergey, who is president of the School Board. The only guidance the board has given to the superintendent is that the schools will remain open, he said. The details of how to do that are operational matters in the purview of the superintendent.

“What folks don’t understand is that school boards, under Title 14 of state code, have specific duties, and the superintendent has specific duties. Keeping schools open or closed — that is the superintendent’s job,” he said. “The school board doesn’t have the authority to close the schools but has the authority to end a superintendent’s contract.”

Enrollment numbers for Mat-Su Borough schools were released last night by Trani during his superintendent report, and it appears the district will be on track for about 19,000 students, Bergey said, about the same as last year.

In Anchorage, parents are sharing stories about moving to the Mat-Su so their students can attend school without masks, and play football or other sports and take part in after-school activities. Bergey has heard those stories. Many parents testified at the board meeting on Wednesday, and nearly all of them wanted the board and superintendent know that they oppose masking the children.

In a parent survey responded to by 750 people in the Mat-Su, only 17 percent supported masks for school this fall, while 71 percent of the parents said “no” to masks on students. 55 percent of all parents participating in the survey were in the “hell no” category.

Read: Mask outrage at Anchorage School Board meeting

Read: Kenai will not mask school children

Read: Enrollment explodes at no-mask Anchorage Christian Schools


        • The concept to remember about wearing a mask is that they protect those around the wearer by curtailing the droplets that can contain the Covid-19 virus.
          Try spitting sometime while wearing a mask and let us know how far you were able to get that spittle.
          There are a couple of masks that also protect the wearer (N95 and KN95) but they are a problem for many needing to wear for longer periods.

    • That’s sad- how many have died from other incidents over the same time period? suicide? accidents? other disease? crime? More than 7

      Not trying to be mean but put it into context.

      • The point I was making is the new Delta variant that originated in India is now killing younger kids and that’s something that’s different compared to the original covid that focused mainly on adults. So now kids don’t have the safety of age, this thing is killing nonchalantly. It wasn’t really about the numbers.

    • So what, Greg? People die every die, from innumerable different causes.
      Are you going to demand that we restructure our society and give up most or all of our rights to fight for every one of those lives as well?
      As usual, your point has no point. It lacks any context or perspective, and is fundamentally meaningless.

      • You don’t actually have any rights Jeffy. You act like the PFD is yours and it’s not or it would have been determined so in court. You act like federal land is yours and it’s not. You didn’t pay for it. You didn’t protect it. You didn’t do a thing. You act like you can drive your car and you can as long as you follow the rules. You have to pay taxes. Nothing’s free in this life Jeffy. It’s all just your illusion that by hiding in the woods in Alaska, you can avoid selective service, taxes, the law etc etc etc. You’re delusional.

        • Your comment is demeaning and condescending and confirms his point that you don’t have one. You do not know how to engage in civil discourse. That much is obvious.

        • You really think you can trust the courts all the time? If so, you don’t know how the legal system works. If you did, then you’d know that legally, the Feds were supposed to give up a lot of the land they claim. You’d know that promises, like contracts, are meant to be kept. The Feds have failed to keep their promise to Alaska, and Alaska has failed to keep its promise to its residents. And if you don’t think I don’t do my share in protecting Alaska, you’re dead wrong.

        • Well there is one thing that is free. Our mind.

          I could not say the same for you though.

          Too bad. You could have done something with your life had you only broke free from your own mental enslavement.

          Now you just waste your life trolling us here in Alaska. Pathetic.

    • The actual number is ZERO, but leave it to a Communist to lie. Why not say 60 or 600 or better yet 666?

    • Can you link me some info where I can read about this? I’m interested in learning about the details of this.

  1. So, to summarize, the school board, gaining deniability in mandates and outcomes, dumps the Covid management problem in the Sup.’s lap, and he gets to make decisions and take the heat for them, which will be inevitable because we have riled-up folks on both sides, and if he miraculously pulls it off, he not only becomes my new hero but also will probably get job offers all over the US. Plus, this is all relatively progressive, except for the sharing of responsibility. The board really should step up, but, as we know, that’s not the valley way.

    • Not really although they try to be contagious. They claim to be everything they’re not. They’re no different than any other cult organization up there.

      • A community that works to adhere to individual rights and educate its young is not a cult. A group that tries to force its ways on a free people, well, what would you call that?

      • That is quite a generalization of a large group of people. To call an entire populate of a city a cult, only reveals your ineptitude.

        Why do you even bother with us Greg? Get a life.

  2. The Dems will push the masks full-on in short order. Already, local govt offices require, all building on all UA campuses, and also Walmart, Fred’s and Safeway are gearing up for masks.
    Welcome to the new world order.

    • Welcome. Come on in, the water is fine. It’s not such a new world order as you advertise, the shadow government has been running this country for about 250 years. You confuse the elected officials as the ones actually pulling the strings.

      • Are you the devil’s advocate?

        Could not break free from the matrix, so you have become Cipher.

        The shadow government has been around a lot longer than 250 years, but of course you already know that. Your kind likes to deal in lies, sprinkled with truth.

        We see you for what you are. An agent of deception and chaos.

        You are the frog in the boiling water. You are the frog in the blender.

        We will watch as you enjoy your self imposed suffering.

          • It is possible that deep inside you seek the truth.

            On the surface you come to this site to “save us” but I think in actuality, you want us to save you from the poor choices you keep making.

            Sorry buddy. You gotta do this on your own.

    • All the way to the grave. Some people up there just don’t know what’s going on and are followers because they hate the government for whatever reason but it’s more about getting the shot and protecting yourself and your family and friends.

  3. Not much courage is needed when You know over half the borough would just keep their children home if they were forced to wear a mask, causing the school district losing money.

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