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Mask mandate down, smiles up at DeLisle Elementary

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:11 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:12 PM CST
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - Students in the Pass Christian School District are no longer required to wear masks in class.

Tuesday evening the school board voted to move the district’s transmission plan to phase one, which only recommends masks and face coverings.

That means first graders at DeLisle Elementary can finally see each other’s faces. This class has only known the world of COVID-19 masks since they showed up for kindergarten last year. Teachers like Bailey LaFontaine now put together lesson plans with facial expressions encouraged.

“Especially in first grade, phonics is such a big part of the curriculum, and having to teach those letters and sounds and getting them to see how they’re formed was very difficult with the mask,” said LaFontaine, who’s also in her first year of teaching.

“Being able to move into that sense of normalcy is really exciting for us,” she added. “It’s kind of like you have a hard time recognizing them again because you’ve just seen from the nose up for so long.”

They’ll keep doing this as long as the downward trend of cases continues in the Pass School District. As one administrator said, Wednesday was almost like the first day of school.

“It was just so exciting to see all the teachers and the kids with nothing but smiles. We have several new staff members so some of our staff is seeing each other for the first time without a mask on,” said Dr. Mandy Lacy, principal at DeLisle Elementary.

The Pass School District also plans to update parents twice a week with status reports and other COVID information. They tell us they’ll also provide those updates on the district website.

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