Berkshire County Schools Show No Real Consensus on Mask Mandate Lift
With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts K-12 mask mandate set to expire on February 28th, school districts in Berkshire County are all making their own decisions as to when or if, in some cases, they will lift their own local mandates.
DESE's decision on guidance was made earlier in the month...
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley announced on December 10th that the statewide mask requirement for K-12 schools will be lifted on February 28th. That left schools around Massachusetts, and here in Berkshire County, with a choice to make regarding what they will do locally.
There is not exactly a consensus between schools in the county...
The way things are trending, it looks as though most school districts in Berkshire County are planning a lifting of their masking mandates at some point, but there is no real consensus among them as to when the best time is to carry out the move. So, we are seeing a variety of plans regarding the issue around the county.
Here is where some of the local school districts are on lifting the mandate:
Pittsfield School District:
The mandate will be lifted in either the second or third week of March. Superintendent Joe Curtis says the mandate will be lifted on either March 7th or March 14th depending on what happens with staffing and case counts. It will be March 7th unless staffing is down and cases are up between Feb. 28th and March 4th.
Hoosac Valley Regional School District:
School officials will decide during a March 6th school committee meeting if the district will lift or possibly alter the current masking policy.
North Adams Public Schools:
There is no real timeline. Superintendent Barbara Malkas says that the current mask mandate will stay in place until the school committee changes its policy. The school committee will meet again on March 1st.
Central Berkshire School District:
Students will be able to decide for themselves if they want to mask up or not beginning March 21st.
Berkshire Hills Regional School District:
Students here will have the option to wear masks or not beginning March 7th.
These are only a few of the local school districts, but they all have their own idea of when best to lift their mandates. It would seem that a consensus among Berkshire County School districts would be beneficial to everyone, but this is where we are at right now. At least we are moving in a positive direction.
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