Face Covering Announcement

Effective February 28, 2022, the wearing of face coverings will be optional, except in these instances, where face coverings are required:

  1. The nurse’s office or locations where COVID testing is taking place.
  2. School vehicles.
  3. For individuals returning to school for days 6-10 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The following provisions and procedures apply only in those instances where face coverings are required:

  1. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth.
  2. Individuals may be excused from the requirement, per CDC guidance, if the individual:
    • has trouble breathing;
    • is unconscious;
    • in incapacitated;
    • cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.
  3. In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical or behavioral need making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering.
  4. A written note from a physician is required for a requested exemption for both students and staff.  Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Superintendent in consultation with the school nurse.  Face shields or physical barriers may provide an alternative in some instances with approval by the Superintendent in consultation with the school nurse.  Parents may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver.
  5. A student’s mask or face covering is to be provided by the student’s family.  Staff members are responsible for providing their own face coverings. However, the district will have a supply of disposable face coverings for individuals who arrive at a building, or board school transportation, without one.

If students are in violation of this policy, the building principal may take appropriate action, including but not limited to disciplinary consequences or other appropriate action.

Violations of this policy by staff will be handled in the same manner as other violations of School Committee policy.

Visitors in violation of this policy will be denied entry to the school/district facility.

This policy will remain in place until it is rescinded by the School Committee. If, at any time in the future, face coverings are mandated by any state or local entity with appropriate jurisdiction, this policy will go back into effect in accordance with the mandate. If, at any time in the future, face coverings on school vehicles are no longer mandated by the federal government, this requirement will be lifted at the local level.

LEGAL REF.:  Commonwealth of Massachusetts, COVID-19 Order No. 31 - https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings/download

REFS.: Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Considerations for Wearing Masks - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – Reopening Guidelines - http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/

Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Mask Up MA! – https://www.mass.gov/news/mask-up-ma

SOURCE:  MASC – August 2020

Amendments Approved by School Committee February 16, 2022