Mask Mandate Update - February 24, 2022

Mask Mandate Update - February 24, 2022
Posted on 02/24/2022

Good Morning Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

I am writing to confirm that effective Monday, February 28, mask wearing will become optional in Newington Public Schools. As of this writing, masks must continue to be worn on school buses at least through March 18, 2022 as this is a Federal mandate.

Linked here is the  Updated (2/28/22) NPS Reopening/Continuation of Learning Plan-2021-22 School Year, which has been updated to reflect the change to our masking requirements. Section 2, “Health and Safety” outlines all of the safety protocols that will remain in effect going forward. This revised Plan will also be posted to our district website.

It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) still recommends (but does not mandate) that masks be worn in public schools. Therefore none of these upcoming changes  preclude any student or staff member from continuing to wear a mask in school. We will have masks available to all staff and students, including N95 masks. It is important to note that while we will support parents’ decisions to have their children continue to wear a mask, we will not be able to ensure mask compliance throughout the school day. However, if your child has a medical condition that warrants strict mask wearing oversight, please contact your school nurse for additional guidance in this regard. There will be reminders to all students that mean spirited behavior towards students regarding their mask wearing status will not be tolerated and will be addressed in accordance with school discipline policies. 

Finally, the State Department of Education has not provided districts with any clear metrics that would indicate when a change to masking protocols is indicated. However, my office along with Nurse Supervisor Mercy Hetherington, will continue to monitor COVID rates in our schools. We continue to update the 2022 COVID-19 Positive Case Dashboard on a weekly basis. As always, it is very important that you do not come to work or school if you are not feeling well. We have an ample supply of COVID at home test kits that we can provide to you upon request.

Thank you again for your ongoing support as we navigate the continuously changing and evolving COVID guidelines.

Be Well.

Maureen Brummett, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools