At the Natrona County Board of Trustees meeting, superintendent Michael Jennings confirmed to the board of trustees that he has submitted a variance request to remove the mask mandate in schools to the Wyoming Department of Health.

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While the variance request was submitted, it may take some time for board to hear back on whether or not the request is approved.

Jennings mentioned at a previous board of trustees meeting that it could take up to a week to hear back on the variance, but that most of the school districts that applied for a variance were approved.

Previously, when the trustees had decided against applying for a variance at a meeting on April 19, the sticking point for many members was a lack of a virtual program for students who would not attend school if the mandate was removed.

Tanya Southerland, Director of Public Relations for the district, said that since then the district has been working with parents and teachers in many schools to come up with a plan that will work for students on a case by case basis.

While the trustees originally voted on whether or not to approve the variance, the ultimate decision to submit or not was up to Jennings, who, after addressing issues board members had, moved forward with the request in spite of the vote against at the April 19 meeting.

Southerland said she does not know why the trustees voted on the variance request if they did not have to, only that the issues raised in the special session on April 19 were addressed at a later date.

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