MRSD Mask Policy Update - February 18, 2022
Dear Monomoy families and staff,
At last night’s School Committee meeting, the committee voted to rescind the existing MRSD mask policy effective February 28, 2022. This means that when students and staff return from February vacation, wearing a mask within our schools will be optional, a choice that individuals and families make. For many, including me, this has been a long-awaited transition back to normalcy when we can once again see each other’s smiles at school.
Thank you to the numerous parents and staff who shared thoughtful comments with our School Committee through emails or via the recent mask survey [results posted here]. All of your feedback was shared with the committee to help inform their decision-making. A majority of parents and staff wanted to see a transition to masks being optional at school. While the change means that upon return from February break, masks will largely be optional for students and staff, the School Committee emphasized that there are three exceptions:
- until the federal mandate for mask use on all public transportation is rescinded, masks will be required on school buses;
- masks will be required in our school health offices to protect both students and staff; and
- anyone who tested positive for COVID and is returning to school after five days of quarantine must wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days (per CDC guidelines).
All schools and buses will have masks available to students as needed.
Masking has been a topic that many feel passionately about, both those wanting personal/parental choice and those wanting to protect themselves or others. In the end, we are one community, and it is important that we have a culture of tolerance. Some families, students, and staff may still choose to wear a mask. It is important that we, as the adults -- both inside and outside of school -- remind children to be respectful of the choices of others and model this in our own actions. Teasing or unkind behavior based upon decisions to wear or not wear a mask at school will not be tolerated.
The decline in the number of new COVID infections in our schools and community, due to a combination of vaccination and so many catching this virus, positioned our schools to become mask-optional. Student and staff participation in our weekly COVID safety check testing program, through Monday morning pooled testing and at-home testing, will provide an additional level of protection to minimize viral spread and keep our schools mask-optional. The more individuals we have participating in our testing program, the safer our schools will be. An email went out earlier this week with a unique link to sign your student up for these testing programs. If you have not already signed up, please take a moment to do so now.
Enjoy a relaxing February break.
Scott Carpenter, Ed.D