Southwick regional school committee rescinds face covering policy

Masks still required for students, staff inside schools

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District School Committee May 17 rescinded policy “EBCFA Face Coverings” in compliance with the loosening restrictions Gov. Charlie Baker announced that day.

Under the new guidance, face covering requirements will continue for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers when they are indoors, however, masks can be removed during recess and other outdoor activities.

Southwick Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Willard sent an email to district families Monday evening noting that face covering requirements for K-12 and early childhood students are lifted for outdoor activity beginning May 18.

Baker said during the May 17 press conference that face coverings will remain a requirement for all individuals on public and private transportation systems. He said the new guidelines allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings.

Willard wrote that the School Committee has to allow the district to follow the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance.

“This means STGRSD will continue COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask wearing, for all individuals when they are indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will continue to be required on all district transportation,” Willard stated. “When students are in outdoor settings like recess and outdoor classrooms, masks will not be required, even if distance cannot be maintained.

Baker also lifted the mask requirement for youth and amateur sports beginning May 18.

“The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) oversees STGRSD participation in athletics programs,” Willard said. “The district will adhere to the MIAA guidance and protocols for spectators and athletes alike. As soon as new guidance is release by MIAA, families will be notified. We recognize and appreciate how hard the student body and staff have all worked to closely adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols in an effort to keep schools open to the maximum extent possible.”

Willard said she believes the remainder of the school year will go smoothly.

“With only a few weeks left of the school year, we are optimistic these safety protocols will allow us to finish the year without further interruption.??As new guidance is released, the District will continue to evaluate protocols and communicate changes to staff and families,” she wrote.


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