Kyrene School District

File photo of a school in the Kyrene School District.

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - An East Valley school district can't require masks inside the classroom but officials will require them on the way to the classroom. The Kyrene School District sent a letter to parents on Wednesday that said masks will be mandatory on school buses, district cars and vans and any transportation contracted by the district. Parents and kids who use personal vehicles to get to school don't have to mask up.

The district points to the fact that transportation to school is covered under federal law, thus overruling the state law that bans mask mandates at schools. The new rules on masking up on district vehicles start on Thursday, the first day of school.

The district strongly encourages kids and staff to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status, which matches with CDC recommendations. The neighborhoods around the Kyrene School District are experiencing a high rate of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

The district will resume its COVID-19 case count dashboard, which shows the number of COVID-19 cases in each school. "With twice as many students on campus this year, Kyrene must revisit the process for updating and maintaining the case count dashboard, to ensure accurate information," the letter to the parents said. For more information on the safety protocols of the district, click/tap here.

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