Independence School District Superintendent Dale Herl was at Truman High School at 7 a.m. Monday helping make lunches for students learning online due to the COVID-19 quarantine.

He left Truman, headed north on Noland Road, and walked into a beehive of activity in the William Chrisman High School atrium, where 27 ISD youth specialists were sitting behind sewing machines makine cloth masks for school employees.

“It’s been a very productive morning,” Herl said, “from helping make lunches at Truman to heading over here to Chrisman to see our youth specialists doing something that will benefit so many of the employees in our school district.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared late last week that wearing a mask in public can cut down on the chances of contacting the coronavirus.

Herl said the masks will be laundered daily. Employees even found some elastic that was from previous student projects to use in the masks.

“We’re making masks now that you use the elastic to wear,” he said, “and when the elastic is gone, we will make the masks with cloth ties.”

Because of projects like this, Herl said many ISD employees are earning a paycheck.

“The unemployment figures continue to soar, and we are so lucky here in the ISD because we are finding ways – like this – to keep our employees working,” he explained.

“And not only working, but working to make everyone within the district safer. And once we have enough masks for our employees, we are going to be sending masks home for their family members.”