When the new school year started, Poland Local Schools decided on a mixed mask policy where students in Kindergarten through 6th grade were required to wear masks while students in grades 7 and up were not.

Nearly two weeks later, the district's superintendent has mandated masks for all students and faculty effective Thursday with contract tracing at the root of the problem.

"We have over a hundred kids that are out on quarantine as a result of the 14, 15 cases that we have," said Craig Hockenberry, superintendent of Poland Local Schools.

Hockenberry tells 21 News that after Labor Day weekend, the numbers really began to climb.

It started with 30 kids that needed to quarantine on Monday. When Tuesday arrived, the number doubled to 60 kids quarantined and today they reached more than a hundred.

Hockenberry says based on the data monitored daily, they were on track to have 250 kids quarantined within the next week or so and would not have been able to have classes as a result.

Since they don't offer remote learning, mass numbers of students and faculty out of school for extended periods of time could pose a problem, academically.

"We looked at the other data at our K to 6 facilities and they had no cases because they have a mask mandate in place," said Hockenberry. "So it wasn't about whether we were for or against masks, it was more about how do we keep kids in school," he said.

Similarly, the Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools also reversed course and is now mandating masks for their students after 1 COVID case led to 10 to 15 students in quarantine.