TOWNSEND — Superintendent Brad Morgan announces that the North Middlesex Regional School District will adhere to the state mandate, requiring all students and staff to wear masks indoors at all times until at least Oct. 1.
Earlier this week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met and voted to give DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley the authority to institute a mask mandate for the beginning of the upcoming school year.
Following that approval, the state mandated that all K-12 students, educators and staff will be required to wear a mask while in schools through Oct. 1 to ensure schools fully reopen safely and to provide ample time for more students and educators to get vaccinated. Masks must be worn inside NMRSD facilities at all times until at least Oct. 1, meaning after-hours events are included in the mandate.
“This is a safety measure that our school committee, faculty and staff support, and which we will adhere to fully,” Superintendent Morgan said.
Students who arrive to school without a mask will be provided one.
After Oct. 1, the policy will 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. As the district nears this date further information will be shared.
Community members should also note that under the state 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.
Families and staff are reminded that any individual who is showing any COVID-19-related symptoms prior to the start of the school day must stay home and contact their healthcare provider about testing. Those who may have been exposed to the disease are asked to remain home as well, monitor themselves for symptoms and to contact their healthcare provider about testing options.
Further information on the district’s response protocols for positive or possible COVID-19 cases can be found in the full reopening plan, linked here.
Those seeking information or open appointments for COVID-19 vaccines should visit the official state website by clicking here.