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Canfield wants 6.9 mills for schools

District goes mask optional Tuesday

CANFIELD — The Canfield Board of Education started off the new year by approving a bond levy for the May 3 ballot.

The board held a brief discussion at Wednesday’s meeting before voting 4-0 to place the issue before voters. The bond levy would be 6.9 mills and would raise $107,800,000 over its 37-year span to build a new school to replace Hilltop, C.H. Campbell and Canfield Village Middle School.

Among the other issues on Wednesday’s agenda was the mask mandate. Board member Dave Wilkeson said students come to school, wear a mask all day long, then as soon as they are out the door at the end of the school day, the masks come off.

“We are holding up a paper plate to stop a fire hose,” he said.

Board member Matt Campbell, who is a high school principal at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, said he works in a system that doesn’t require masks. He believes masks should be left to the parents.

Board President Nader Atway said, “We can’t control what happens after school, so an optional policy is probably best.”

Board member Jennifer Kluchar was the only one in favor of keeping the masks. She said, “When a child is allergic to peanuts, we ask all the students to not bring them in,” she said.

During public comment, resident Chad Hawks read the results of several university and professional studies that revealed mask wearing had no significant impact on protecting a child against COVID-19.

“I am asking that (the board) stop dividing the district with masking,” Hawks said.

After a brief discussion, Campbell, Wilkeson and Atway cast a vote to make masks optional beginning Tuesday. Kluchar cast the lone no vote.

Superintendent Joe Knoll presented the proposed 2022-23 school calendar for consideration. The calendar has students returning to class Aug. 24 with a full week in class prior to the Canfield Fair break. The final day of class would be May 31, 2023.

While most liked the idea of school letting out earlier, there was concern over the August start because of higher temperatures in August.

Wilkeson recommended tabling the calendar for a month, puting it on the district website, and seeking feedback from parents.

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