WOOSTER, Ohio — Wooster City School District’s superintendent Michael Tefs said planning for the upcoming school year has been a process, but Wooster school leaders are pleased with the options they’ve come up with.
“I'm pretty happy with where we are today, just the collaboration and consensus. We’ve taken a really difficult situation and we’re making the best out of it,” he said.
Tefs said the district is looking at different options that families can choose from.
“We are going to try to be all things to all people. We have a smorgasbord of options and our families can choose whatever option they want,” he said.
One of those options is in-person schooling at least 2 days a week. But while students are there, they will have to wear masks.
“A couple of people said, ‘We can sew masks’ and we said we could take advantage around that and we did build systems around that,” he said.
Now, the district is calling its community members to action; if you know how to sew and are willing to sew reusable, washable masks, they’re hoping for donations.
The district anticipates needing up to 20,000 disposable face masks per week for students, which leaders say would use up a lot of landscape and cost them about 76 cents each.
“We are looking at about $400,000 and we thought well this is a great opportunity if there are families willing to make a half a dozen to 100, and if they’re willing to do that, it’s going to save taxpayer dollars and the response has been remarkable,” said Tefs.
The district is looking for face coverings from children to adult sizes, as long as it covers the mask and nose.
Since the call to action, the district has seen people donate every day.
“That’s what’s exciting about something like this, there’s so much anxiety, so much stress, so much fear, but the community is making it palatable and at the end of this Wooster will be in a better place,” he said.
If you’d like to donate, you can drop off the masks at the Wooster City Schools Support services Office at the corner of Oldman and Oak Hill Road. Leave it on the front porch in a bag or box with your name, address and the number of masks you’ve contributed.