Western Massachusetts school districts deciding on mask requirements for students

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As we approach September, school districts are finalizing their plans for a new school year, and that includes whether to require mask-wearing among students. 

There is not a statewide mandate, so it is up to the school districts to decide. The state education department is strongly recommending students K through 6 wear masks. Local school districts, like Springfield and Amherst, have already announced they will be mandating masks for all students and employees, regardless of vaccination status.  

But other municipalities like Agawam have not announced their plans yet. Mayor Bill Sapelli told 22News he will look at covid numbers regarding Agawam specifically before making final a decision. 

“There are basic numbers that are out there,” said Mayor Sapelli. “Some people may be going a little too far in saying we are mandating masks, well let’s take a look at our community, what good for our community what our needs are, and what our numbers look like.” 

Governor Charlie Baker said he will let communities make their own decisions about masking in schools. He said he has no plans to implement a mandate but strongly recommends grades k through 6 wear a mask since those ages are not eligible for the vaccine. 

School districts are expected to release their plans for the school year in the next few weeks. 

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