Despite Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s decision to end the state’s mask mandate on Tuesday, most Faulkner County schools still plan to keep their COVID-19 protocols and mask requirements in place through the end of the school year.

Six schools in the county, including the University of Central Arkansas, Hendrix College, St. Joseph, Conway Christian and Conway Public Schools will keep their mandates in place through the end of the school year. Area school leadership and boards held the final decision in choosing to continue a mask requirement, per guidance issued by the governor and the Department of Education.

Three area schools, however, haven’t committed to their mask mandates through the end of the school year. While Vilonia, Greenbrier, Guy-Perkins and Mount Vernon-Enola are all keeping their requirements and protocols in place for the time being, their school boards will revisit the issue in coming meetings. Central Baptist College (CBC) will keep their protocols, including the mask mandate, in place for the time being and revisit at a later date, per CBC spokesman Sancy Faulk. 

Vilonia’s next board meeting is set for April 12, while Greenbrier will hold a board meeting to discuss the mandate next week. Guy-Perkins will revisit the mask issue at its April 20 board meeting and Mount Vernon-Enola will hold a special board meeting on Thursday night to discuss the governor’s announcement and the path forward.

Mayflower did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Staff Writer Kolton Rutherford can be reached at krutherford@thecabin.net.

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