On March 10, 2022

WCSU: Masks voluntary starting April 4

Staff report

In a letter sent to Windsor Central Supervisory Union parents, at 7:54 p.m., March 9, Superintendent Sherry Sousa announced that the district’s elementary schools would move to voluntary mask wearing on Monday, April 4 — three weeks after the governor announced general guidance for unmasking would take effect (March 14).

“I’ve spoken with school leaders, health professionals and Board members. I’ve received many emails from parents. Since the start we’ve followed the guidance of the Agency of Education and Vermont Department of Health. These two state groups are now recommending that all masks be voluntary as of March 14,” Sousa wrote. “While I want science to direct my decisions and the guidance of the state, I feel that I also need to hear my families who are fearful of the loss of this Covid response strategy. Whether they have young children at home or vulnerable family members, there is much anxiety around this decision.

“Mask wearing at all WCSU schools will be voluntary on April 4. We will then trade one strategy for another — mask wearing for fresh air. By early April, we can open our windows and be outside more. Waiting until that date also provides families with the time they need to make the shift if they wish, prepare their child(ren) for voluntary mask wearing, and allows one week prior to vacation for this new reality,” Sousa wrote. April break for WCSD is April 11-15.

“If at any time, our district is faced with high case counts and the department of health recommends a return to mask wearing, then I will put the mask mandate back into place,” she added.

“Remember, the most important health mitigation strategy is staying home when sick. Continuing to ask all students and staff to stay home from school when sick will help prevent the spread of all illnesses through our school buildings. We will continue to foster an inclusive environment for all students and staff so that regardless of the decision to wear a face mask or not, all will feel accepted,” she assured parents.

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