San Ramon Valley schools reopen with mask mandate despite criticism

Tuesday marked the return to campus for school administrators, staff, and students of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

"(The best part) probably, seeing my friends again in recess," said second grade student, Wesley Rudick.

Face coverings are mandatory for their 30,000 member student body this year, district officials said.

"Our kids were excited and nervous to be back. Our staff was really excited to embrace and welcome our students. And there was just a great energy," Superintendent, Dr. John Malloy.

However, there was a different kind of energy at a district school board meeting Aug. 3.

"Masks are required for all persons regardless of vaccination status," said a district board member, resulting in a chorus of boos.

A small,but vocal number of parents, objected to the district’s mask mandate.

SEE ALSO: San Ramon students head back to school after some criticize mask mandate

"I think that this school district should be a sanctuary school district as it relates to masks mandates. Let us parents and their children choose for ourselves," said an unidentified parent.

Malloy said about 800 students are using virtual academies or independent study programs at the start of the school year.

"We must listen to the experts. And they say masks are required, so we will do it," he said.

Many parents agreed, adding the most important aspect of attending school, is actually being inside a school.

"I’m just happy kids are back. So I don’t understand the people fighting the masks. So as long as they’re in school, wear the mask," said parent Devan Rudick.

Malloy said those students who opt for virtual academy or independent study programs will be allowed back to school should they wish to return. But they cannot guarantee they will get into their home school. They may have to attend at a different campus.