DES MOINES, Iowa — Monday, a federal judge ordered the state of Iowa to immediately halt the enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from mandating face masks.
Some school districts across the state have already announced their plans to reinstate their old mask policies, like Des Moines Public Schools. Others have scheduled special board meetings to determine their options.
The new law does not apply to Board of Regents schools such as the University of Iowa, Iowa State University or the University of Northern Iowa.
Below is a list of central Iowa school districts and their current plans on their masking decisions.
Ames Community School District
The Ames School Board voted on Sept. 15 to reinstate the district's mask policy. The mask policy goes into effect on Friday, Sept. 17.
Ankeny Community School District
The Ankeny School Board voted 5-2 to reinstate the district's policy following hours of public comment on Sept. 21. According to its proposed Return to Learn plan, the district's mask requirement will go into effect on Sept. 23.
The policy will be applicable to everyone 2 years and older when they are inside district buildings regardless of vaccination status. However, masking will be "strongly encouraged" but not required during indoor events happening on Ankeny school property outside of the school day.
Masking will not be required when outdoors on Ankeny Community School District property.
Des Moines Public Schools
Des Moines Public Schools announced on Sept. 13 it will reinstate its own mask mandate starting Sept. 15. DMPS appeared to be the first school to reinstate its mandate.
“The court’s decision to set aside Iowa’s ban on school districts being able to protect children in our care is welcome news," DMPS Superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart said in a statement. "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in Iowa, our families and staff have expressed their concerns about schools not being able to require minimal, effective mitigation steps, such as wearing a mask, in order to keep people healthy and safe. With today’s ruling, as Superintendent I will reinstate a mask mandate – as we had in place for most of last school year – for all students, staff and visitors to Des Moines Public Schools.”
Johnston Community School District
The Johnston School Board approved a face mask requirement on Sept. 21 for all students, teachers and staff. The mandate goes into effect on Sept. 23.
Marshalltown Community School District
The Marshalltown School Board approved a face mask mandate for PK-6 students and staff on Sept. 21. The policy does not impact those in grades 7-12, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
The mandate goes into effect on Sept. 22.
North Polk Community School District
North Polk will be recommending face masks, but not requiring them.
Southeast Polk Community School District
SEP passed their "Return to Learn" plan Sept. 28, which includes requiring masks for students, staff and visitors in preschool through sixth-grade buildings. Masks will be required for preschool through 12th grade on school buses, however, no in-building mask requirement for grades seven through 12.
Both policies got into effect Monday, Oct. 4.
Urbandale Community School District
The school board voted on Sept. 15 to reinstate the mask requirement for students and staff. It will go into effect on Sept. 20.
Watch the full meeting below:
Waukee Community School District
The Waukee School Board voted Sept. 16 to not reinstate the district's mask requirement. Instead, the board moved to ask the district's administrative team to come up with strategies to accommodate students with health risks.
West Des Moines Community School District
The school board approved reinstating its mask requirements on Sept. 16. According to the district's website, anyone who enters a WDMCSD building will be required to wear a mask starting on Sept. 20.
Watch: Federal judge's temporary order allows Iowa schools to mandate masks