Webb: Recommendation to School Board about COVID ‘guidelines’ may need to change

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Superintendent Roy Webb, right, and members of the Quincy School Board listen to speakers during the July 21 meeting.

QUINCY — Quincy Superintendent of Schools Roy Webb wrote in a social media post on Friday morning that his “guidance” to the Quincy School Board regarding how the Quincy School District will deal with its COVID-19 response is being reviewed with the start of school looming next month.

“I know many of you have seen the CDC guidelines have changed,” Webb wrote on Facebook. “They recommend K-12 schools be fully masked, especially in high-risk areas. Quincy is in a high-risk area. My guidance to the board may change based on that information. We are awaiting a couple more pieces of information and scheduled area meetings prior to sending the board my recommendation.”

The Quincy School Board voted unanimously earlier this month to make masks optional, for the most part, for the 2021-22 school year. The plan doesn’t require masks in schools, but it does require them on buses. At the July 21 meeting, Webb said adjustments to the plan may be implemented should COVID cases rise locally.

“The CDC has changed their guidance, and we are reviewing that guidance,” Webb wrote. “We also understand we are in a high-risk area. We have our guidance from the board. For that to change, we would need to have board action. We are reviewing. As we informed individuals with the initial guidance, we will adjust if needed.”

Webb also defended David Penn, the school district’s attorney, Adams County Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch and the Quincy School Board in his statement, taking the responsibility for any policy enacted within the Quincy School District.

“To point a finger at David Penn and say anything is his fault is not fair to him,” Webb wrote. “He has guided us on many issues and kept me out of trouble often. He is not a decision-maker for QPS, only a trusted advisor.”

Webb wrote he has worked closely with Welch for about 18 months.

“He has never demanded compliance or a certain direction,” he wrote. “We have had conversations. I trust his judgement and his knowledge.”

Webb said the School Board’s responsibility is to set policy, give strategic direction, pass a budget, approve the curriculum and hire and evaluate the superintendent.

“The superintendent then will run the district and enforce the policy and follow the curriculum,” he wrote. “I have made thousands of decisions since March 2020. Some were good decisions; some were poor decisions. I have taken responsibility for what takes place at QPS. The audience at the board meeting was upset about decisions. Many of those probably fall to me. I always welcome individuals to reach out and have a discussion. I am sure our board members would welcome discussions as well.”

Students will return to QPS classrooms August 18.

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