Governor Baker Releases New COVID-19 Guidance

Governor Baker Releases New COVID-19 Guidance
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May 17, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

Today, Governor Baker released important updated COVID-19 guidance for Massachusetts and K-12 schools. Under the new guidance, face coverings will remain a requirement for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers when they are indoors. Face coverings will also remain a requirement for all individuals on public and private transportation systems. However, effective May 18, 2021 guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. Under the new guidance, students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained.


What does this mean for STGRSD?
The School Committee has rescinded policy EBCFA Face Coverings to allow the District to follow the DESE Guidance. This means STGRSD will continue COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask wearing, for all individuals when they are indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will continue to be required on all District transportation. When students are in outdoor setting like recess and outdoor classrooms, masks will not be required, even if distance cannot be maintained.

What about athletics?
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) oversees STGRSD participation in athletics programs. The District will adhere to the MIAA guidance and protocols for spectators and athletes alike. As soon as new guidance is release by MIAA, families will be notified.

We recognize and appreciate how hard the student body and staff have all worked to closely adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols in an effort to keep schools open to the maximum extent possible. With only a few weeks left of the school year, we are optimistic these safety protocols will allow us to finish the year without further interruption.

As new guidance is released, the District will continue to evaluate protocols and communicate changes to staff and families.


Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

For Governor Baker’s full press release: 
https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-to-lift-covid-restrictions-may-29-state-to-meet-vaccination-goal-by-beginning-of-june

For the DESE FAQ released on May 17, 2021: https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/faq/
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