TAUNTON — Superintendent John Cabral and Taunton Public Schools wish to share an update regarding the district’s mask policy for the 2021-22 school year.
The district is currently following the latest guidance provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regarding the use of masks within schools.
Earlier today, DESE Commissioner Riley and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met and voted to give Commissioner Riley the authority to institute a mask mandate for the beginning of the upcoming school year.
Following the approval of his mask mandate, effective Wednesday, Aug. 25, all PreK-12 students, educators and staff will be required to wear a mask while in schools to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide ample time for more students and educators to get vaccinated.
Community members should also note that under the DPH’s mask advisory, masks are mandatory for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, while using public transportation and rideshares, and while inside healthcare facilities and other settings. As a result, students riding any district bus or visiting any of the district’s health offices must continue to wear masks at all times while in these settings.
“As we approach the upcoming school year, the health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority, and we want to ensure there is no disruption to the continuity of learning in our schools. As such, we ask that our community members continue to practice safety and mitigation measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19,” Superintendent Cabral said.
At this time, Taunton Public Schools would like to note that vaccination and masking are the top mitigation strategies against acquiring and spreading the virus. The Taunton Public Schools, with the support of the City’s health officials, will continue to provide opportunities for those who are eligible and wish to receive the vaccine.
The Commonwealth’s #TrustTheFacts mobile vaccination bus is scheduled to visittheCity of Taunton at Taunton High School, 50 Williams St., today, Aug. 24, and on Aug. 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Pfizer vaccine will be available to community members ages 12+. Community members between the ages of 12 and 17 will need a signed waiver from a parent or guardian, but do not need an adult present with them at the time of the inoculation.
Additional information regarding upcoming vaccination opportunities will be made available to families via the district’s social media platforms and other communications.