Board of Education Ends Mask Mandate

The county’s Board of Education voted yesterday to make face coverings optional in all MCPS schools and facilities, effective immediately.

“This action is consistent with the State of Maryland’s decision to end its state mandate for face coverings in schools and aligns with revised Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance that no longer recommend the universal use of masks in schools,” MCPS said in a community message posted on the district’s website.

“To keep our staff and students safe, other COVID-19 mitigation strategies will continue, including rapid and random testing at school, distribution of take-home test kits, improved HVAC systems, and availability of vaccines. The use of masks will be optional inside, outside and on school buses. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask can continue to do so, and your child can request a mask from their school if they want one.

“While some will welcome the new mask policy, others may worry about the change. There will be students, teachers, and administrators who wish to continue wearing masks in our schools. We must respect that. So, On or Off, It’s Only Me is a reminder that wearing masks can be an individual decision and we must respect the decisions of others.

“As a district, we expect our MCPS community to respect individual decisions about wearing masks at this time. Our staff and students must model kindness, acceptance, and inclusiveness. MCPS will work with students, staff, and families to promote a shared understanding of respecting each individual’s choice as valid.

“MCPS will promote acceptance of decisions regarding the wearing of masks by sharing this important message on posters, flyers, public service announcement videos, community messages, and through social media. Resources will be provided to schools to include in their own communications with students and families.”

Photo: © Beton Studio / Adobe Stock

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