TCAPS Board Moves School Online and Reinstates the Mask Policy

After the Jan. 10 meeting, the TCAPS board agreed to several changes throughout the district as staffing becomes an issue


Photo Courtesy: TCAPS Board Meeting Livestream

The TCAPS School Board agrees to a full week online and for masking to be mandatory

Cici Copenhaver and Lauren Tkach

  On Monday night, Jan. 10, the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) board re-evaluated the COVID-19 protocols that were implemented throughout the district at the previous board meeting. Board members voted unanimously to reinstate the mask mandate and extended virtual learning for secondary school students through Jan. 14. The switch to online learning occurred following a staffing shortage in the TCAPS school district. The board also unanimously re-elected Scott Newman-Bale as board president. Despite their agreement on board re-elections, there was clear tension amongst the board due to a Facebook post made by Erica Moon Mohr, a fellow member.

  The public comment at the meeting illustrated the divide regarding the mask mandate. Some members of the community believed that it was beneficial for students to wear masks, while others believed that masks were hindering learning. Two students from West pleaded very different cases to the board.

  “I feel like if we bring masks back, you’re going to have a lot of students who are no longer happy with being at school anymore. As a theater student, it’s so much easier not having to wear a mask because I can now project and interact more with people around me,” sophomore Emma Harrington said.

  Senior Addie Nicolau disagreed, claiming that masks aren’t the main issue.

  “I know that there’s a mental health crisis. I have friends that are a part of it, I’m a part of it, all kinds of kids are struggling, but that doesn’t stem from masking, that comes from all kinds of other things,” she said.