LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH)– Olentangy Schools Superintendent has instituted mask wearing for the first nine weeks of the school year.

“I understand this topic is a difficult and divisive issue within the community and these decisions are not made lightly,” wrote Mark Raiff on the website. “My goal is to keep as many staff and students in the classroom as possible.”

According to the district’s website, facemasks will be mandatory for all students, staff, and visitors in preschools, elementary and middle schools. Facemasks are strongly recommended for staff, students, and visitors in high schools.

The face coverings are in addition to other health and prevention strategies.

At the end of the letter, Raiff thanked the community for their support in the effort.