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August 20 Update

Good evening -

I write with an update regarding masking requirements. This morning, Commissioner Riley held a Zoom call with superintendents. He said that four weeks ago, "we were in a better place," but now that the trajectory of the virus is increasing, he is revising his original guidance. On Tuesday, he will go before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and ask them to give him the authority to mandate masks for all students K-12 and all staff regardless of vaccination status until October 1. 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. He anticipates that the Board will support this mandate and will revisit it in the near future to revise as warranted by public health data.

Once passed, this will be a requirement for all as directed by the Commissioner; therefore, students, staff and visitors will wear a mask when inside school buildings, and students who are non-compliant could be subject to discipline.


Cheryl Clarke

43 Margaret Street

Monson, MA 01057

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