DESE Announcement for Mask Requirements

Fall 21/22 Return to School Protocols
Letterhead

August 20, 2021

Dear Families, 

At last night’s School Committee meeting, the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Committee voted to follow the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) mask guidance for the fall 21/22 school year. The current guidance from DESE “strongly recommends” masks for all students in school buildings for the upcoming school year. 

Today however, DESE notified school leaders that Commissioner Riley has asked the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to meet on Tuesday, August 24, “to grant him the authority to mandate masks for all public K-12 students, educators, and staff through October 1 to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide time for more students and educators to get vaccinated. After October 1, the commissioner’s policy would allow middle and high schools to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated students and staff only if the school meets a certain vaccination rate – at least 80 percent of students and staff in a school building are vaccinated. Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to wear masks.”

Because the State’s requirement for school districts is expected to change after their meeting on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, we will have updated information for families on masking requirements and COVID protocols next week.

Thank you for your continued patience as we await further guidance. 

Sincerely, 
Jennifer C. Willard
Superintendent of Schools

Click here to read the full press release from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 
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