Extension of Mask Mandate Through November 1, 2021
Greetings Cohasset Families,
Earlier today Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey Riley, notified school superintendents that he is extending the mask requirement for all public PK-12 students, educators, and staff (originally scheduled through October 1) through November 1, 2021. The Commissioner noted the additional time needed to continue to analyze data as being paramount in his decision to extend the mandate.
Commissioner Riley added that school districts have until October 15, 2021 to submit an attestation to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) if a middle and / or high school can demonstrate a vaccination rate for students and staff (combined) of 80% or greater. Schools who attest to being at or above the 80% vaccination threshold will have the ability, after November 1, to make a local decision regarding masks for vaccinated individuals within those highly vaccinated buildings. Even if a district is able to attest that 80% of students and staff are vaccinated within a particular school, those who remain unvaccinated will continue to be required to mask, and school districts will not be able to make local decisions concerning unvaccinated individuals. Information will be forthcoming relative to how the district intends to identify vaccinated students and staff.
We know that this continues to be a sensitive topic for many stakeholders, and we will continue to keep you promptly updated on any revisions to DESE’s mandate moving forward. Thank you and have a good evening.
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Cohasset Public Schools