MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Monson School Committee has voted to require face coverings for students and staff when inside the classroom this fall.
According to the school’s website, all students grades Preschool to 12th grade will need to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status, inside schools. Teachers, staff and visitors will also be required to wear a mask. Masks will also be required to be worn on the school bus but not required when outdoors and when eating.
Classes in Monson begin on August 30th for grades 1-12 and September 1 for prekindergarten and kindergarten. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, teachers will be handing out school supplies to students from school buses driving through the town. You can find the route of the buses on the school’s Facebook page.
Monson joins the list of several school districts that have made the decision to require masks in the classroom. Masks will be required for staff and students in South Hadley, Holyoke and Springfield. The East Longmeadow School Committee voted last week to follow DESE guidelines, which only recommend masks to be worn but does not require them. If DESE guidelines were to change and ask for a mask mandate, the school committee said they would revisit the topic.
The Springfield Diocese has taken a different approach. They will let the parents decide if their children will need to wear a mask inside the classroom this fall.
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. Other school districts are expected to release their plans for the school year in the next few weeks.