BELFAST — Regional School Unit 71 Board of Directors decided to allow masked spectators into indoor sporting events and performances over the winter. It also decided to let participating student athletes and performers choose whether or not to wear masks. And members agreed to meet in person.

The Maine Principals Association is not issuing guidance this year on how districts should handle sporting events, so Superintendent Mary Alice McLean has been in contact with superintendents in area towns the school usually competes with to develop a set of mostly uniform rules regarding events and performances.

She presented a draft of the Midcoast Superintendent Agreement for Sports and Performing Arts to baord members Oct. 25. Board members agreed that spectators should only be allowed in school buildings outside of regular school hour,s so visitor restrictions will still be in place during the school day.

Board member David Crabiel had reservations about students taking admissions who might have to enforce the mask mandate for spectators. Finance Director Chandra Hodgdon said the school’s mask supply is low, but she thinks most people have reusable masks that they will probably wear to events.

Chairman Ryan Otis said he was apprehensive about approinge the plan in draft form when it could change at McLean’s next meeting with the other Midcoast superintendents.

Board Member Cory Seekins also expressed concerns over the mental health toll required quarantining is having on children. McLean said the district must follow state guidelines on quarantining requirements.

Student athletes from other schools will also be allowed to use the locker rooms during games and competitions, which was not permitted last year.

In addition, board members agreed to start having meetings in person. Some board members were apprehensive about meeting in schools and talked about finding a large enough place to hold board members and members of the public.

Board meetings will be held in the Belfast Area High School band room with a Zoom option for people who want to attend virtually. Members of the public are asked to wear a mask if attending in person. The next meeting is Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m.