Mask Mandate Changes Upcoming
The following message was sent out to the community on the morning of 2/9/22.
Dear Members of the Weston School Community,
This morning, Commissioner Riley and Gov. Baker announced that the statewide school mask mandate will be lifted on Monday, February 28, 2022. What does this mean for us? As announced on February 6, 2022, the Weston Public Schools still plan to switch over to a ‘mask-optional’ environment for the Field School, Middle School and High School on February 28th. Other changes, including mask policies at Country and Woodland, will be discussed at the February 15th School Committee Meeting (7:00pm, held on Zoom).
What will the mask-optional environment look like?
- Masks will remain required on all buses both during and after school hours per federal mandate.
- As stated above, this transition will begin with the Field, Middle, and High Schools.
- Students and staff can choose whether to wear a mask or not while on campus, depending on their individual and family health risks, needs, and/or beliefs.
- Masks (surgical, KN95 and N95) will remain available for any student or staff member who needs it at each school.*
*Mask usage is proven protective against COVID-19 for both the individual and the broader community. Respirators such as N95s give the most protection. KN95s and double surgical masks provide the next highest level of protection for the individual.
What additional mitigative measures will be changing on the 28th?
- Indoor lunch/snack time will change for mask-optional schools toward a “normal” model where students are free to sit at tables that are in alignment with the traditional lunch table format free of spacing and barrier restrictions OR sit at tables in designated areas where spacing and barrier restrictions remain in effect.
- Lunch/Snack will continue to occur outside whenever possible as students enjoy this opportunity to engage outside during these times. Students will be able to sit in less restrictive seating areas or remain on mats in alignment with current models.*
*Families are encouraged to engage in these conversations with their children to determine seating preferences, and these preferences can be student driven or parents can contact building administrators with their wishes.
What mitigative measures will remain in place on the 28th?
- Frequent handwashing will be encouraged as well as continued use of hand sanitizer.
- Classroom design will remain the same with desks spaced at three feet in various patterns including forward facing, circular, grouped.
- Barriers for desks will be available for those students or parents who request them.
- Weekly and as needed testing will remain in place, including use of the newly implemented at-home rapid test kits.
- Livestream access for students who are homebound due to a COVID-19 related isolation or quarantine.
- Air purifiers in classrooms and throughout the schools and offices.
As with any changes that are made, additional communications will be posted on the website, communicated through email, and discussed publicly at School Committee meetings.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the students and staff of Weston Public Schools and all of the other members of our school community.
Dr. Marguerite “Midge” Connolly
Superintendent, Weston Public Schools
Sheri L. Matthews
Asst. Supt. for Finance & Operations, Weston Public Schools