The Franklin Special School District has called for a special school board meeting Friday to discuss the possibility of temporarily requiring masks for all students and staff inside district buildings and buses.

Director of Schools David Snowden announced the meeting Wednesday afternoon. It will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Freedom Middle School, and will also be livestreamed. Board members will be presented with the latest numbers on students and staff who have tested positive for the coronavirus, and they’re expected to vote whether or not to approve the mandate.

Part of the reason for a special-called meeting is because the board’s next regular monthly meeting isn’t until Sept. 20, and numbers of positive cases in the district’s eight schools are already on the rise.

“We said at the last board meeting we might have to revisit this if the numbers begin to increase,” said Robert Blair, chair of the school board.

In accordance with the executive order issued Monday by Gov. Bill Lee, parents will be able to opt out of the mask mandate if the board does approve one.

In addition, FSSD has taken over the duty of contact tracing from the Williamson County Health Department.

“We were only notified by families as they called in to report absences, so we felt that data was not reliable,” Susannah Gentry, communications specialist, said in an email. “Our nurses have since taken on the contact tracing in our buildings so we can notify families in a more efficient manner as well as provide them with remote learning information on the spot.”